“As He was with Israel in ancient times, so He is with us”
As we reflect on the coming days of 2016, we are like the people of Israel at the border of their promised land who had no idea what lay ahead of them in the way of battles, challenges and even victories and blessings. God graciously told Israel how they were to stay under His protection and guidance so as to receive all that He had for them on their journey. They were simply to obey His instruction to follow closely behind the Ark of the Covenant or Tabernacle which is God’s presence.
“And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it… that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” (Joshua 3:3-4 KJV)
Just as the presence of God advanced before Israel, through the wilderness and into the unknown promised land of Canaan so too His presence has gone ahead of us into the unknown “territories” of the New Year and will continue to do so beyond 2016. Individually the Lord is speaking to us, as He spoke to Joshua on a one on one;
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9 KJV).
Jesus to whom we belong is also called Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23) “God with us”, he and God are one (John 10:30), we therefore have the same assurance as Joshua. However, as God gives grace to the humble, we should not take His presence for granted, rather our daily prayer should be
“Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:4-5 KJV).
Knowing that obedience is key to our victory in the New Year, we should obey Jesus’ commandments so that God demonstrates His love to us by abiding with us (John 14:21-23).
As New Covenant believers, we are God’s “Tabernacle” where His presence abides, enabling us to bear long lasting fruit (John 15) to His glory. We will see our prayers answered as we abide in Him and He in us through Jesus (John 15:7, 16).
Furthermore, when we respond to the call to be Jesus’ intimate friends and so obey his command to abide in his love, love one another as he loves us, we receive revelation knowledge which is the key to fruitfulness. If His presence is with us and in us in the power of the Holy Spirit, then we must believe that we are well able to know His will (1 Corinthians 2:9-13) and therefore the direction Father is taking us as we communicate with Him in worship, prayer and bible study throughout the year. This will guarantee we have a joy-filled year (John 15:12-17).
We must remember what awaits us in a life lived in God’s presence: “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11 KJV)
Jesus, seated at the right hand of Father, as the Light of the World has gone ahead of us to overcome darkness (evil, deception) along our path (John 8:12, 32).
As Joshua and Caleb who spied the promised land and proclaimed by faith that Israel was “well able to conquer it..” and that God “will bring us into this land and give it to us” (Numbers 13:30;14:8), so too we must proclaim by faith even now at the “border” of the New Year, that we are destined for victory ahead no matter what challenges or battles we encounter because
“…we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37).
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”(Proverbs 18:21KJV)
Our vocal declarations of God’s victorious acts and His words in Scripture as well as our testimonies of His goodness are powerful weapons against satanic deception and discouragement as we advance into the New Year. We therefore have to be careful what we confess this year, staying in the Word and in an attitude of worshipping Father through Jesus will help us maintain a sanctified mind set and confession.
As God proved himself to be a faithful and true God and His words to Israel never return void (Isaiah 55:10-12), so He has been with us and plans to be in 2016 and beyond.
Have a very joyful New Year in the LORD. You are blessed, determine to stay blessed in 2016.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 1/01/2016