A Time to Move Forward

2015 move forwardqAre you stuck in a rut or have you settled for less of an existence than you were called by God to live? Have you ever thought, “Is this it, is this all there is?” Maybe this year it’s time to get going and move forward.

The Children of Israel were in such a place. Having seen God do amazing things in delivering them from slavery in Egypt, they came up short in entering the land of promise, the land of abundance.

Has something kept you in the place of mediocrity? Have you settled, gotten sidetracked or disappointed to the point of paralysis?

Perhaps it’s time for you to move forward like the Children of Israel did.

A. W Tozer said, “Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will.”

The Apostle Paul saw that moving forward was a continual pursuit of all that God had for Him or, “The prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 Philippians 2:12-16

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.    Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.  Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,* let us be of the same mind.

Here are eight things to consider from Joshua 1; where the Children of Israel are urged to move forward, after 40 years of running in circles in the wilderness because of their lack of faith.

1.  A Time to Move Forward – Death is the opportunity for life, renewal and opportunity.
Verse 1  – After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:  2  “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them – the children of Israel.

Death, disappointment and loss are not the end but the beginning. Moses meant so much to the Children of Israel, yet it wasn’t until he died that they were able to move forward. I imagine that they thought without Moses they were done, however God was doing a new thing.

Never let a “let down” cause you to stay down. It’s merely a new thing God is doing and he wants to show you that you can trust Him and not man. When things look bad it gives God the opportunity to show us He is all we need.

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2. A Time to Move Forward – Claim all YOUR territory.
Verse 3 – Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.  4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.

Paul put it like this, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”(Philippians 2:12)

God has so much for us that we can keep continuously moving forward. Not that we won’t have setbacks, and go through different seasons in our walk with The Lord, but as we keep persevering we will never exhaust the wealth of God’s goodness that is available.

He invites us to come, and then to keep coming, and then to come some more. There is continual revelation and new and wondrous things He wants to show us.

Go for it. If there is something that has stopped you, get up and get going. That’s where you will find your strength and renewal.

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3.  A Time to Move Forward – Nothing can stop you.
Verse 5  – No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.  6  Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

You are invincible in God’s will. You may have become afraid of trying new things. You may have been burned, or let down. You may have a fear of failure. Whatever it is, “Be strong and courageous” because where God commands you to run is where you are invincible.

Patience is good, but never let patience turn into stagnation. When it’s time to move, go in the boldness of The Lord. Nothing can stop you.

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4.  A Time to Move Forward – follow God and you’ll move forward (obedience).
Verse 7 –  Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left,that you may prosper wherever you go

The way forward is to simply follow God in simple obedience. If you concern yourself with that, you’ll always be moving in the right direction.

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5. A Time to Move Forward – Success (Advancement, Progress) will be proportional to your interaction with the Word.
Verse 8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,but you shall meditate in it day and night,that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

It’s amazing that our success and prosperity is connected to God’s Word. We have this promise; that living according to His Word gives great results.

The emphasis here is on  “doing” the Word. It’s not just reading it, and listening to it, but it is living according to it. Moving forward, then, is growing in God’s Word and applying it to your everyday life.

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6. A Time to Move Forward – Be Prepared
Verse  10  – Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11  “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying ,’Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’ ”

Preparation is key. When God moves us forward, He has also prepared us for what’s ahead. We will never be led where we haven’t been equipped. If God is moving, that means you are ready.

Much of what happens to us is to prepare us. So don’t despise these times that may be unpleasant. Embrace them by faith, knowing that you are being prepared to move forward.

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7. A Time to Move Forward – Forward is a fight.
Verse 12  – And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying,  13  “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’  14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15  until the Lord has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the Lord’s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

On the road to moving forward are many obstacles. It’s not the easy road of the least resistance but the hard road of great resistance. Why? Satan does all he can to prevent our growth and development.

He knows how great that path is so he resists every step forward we take. In fact, we can look at resistance as a mark of Godly progression as the Bible says “All those who desire to live Godly lives will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

The Children of Israel were stuck because they feared the enemies they would encounter in the Promised Land. Instead of trusting God, they shrunk back into disobedience.

No need for retreat as faith will always carry you through. You have all the weapons of warfare you need to carry on for, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17) “If God be for you who can be against you?” (Romans 8:31)

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8. A Time to Move Forward – Have no stopping points.
Verse 16  –So they answered Joshua, saying,”All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17  Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you.Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18  Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”

The final key is having no stopping points. There will be plenty of reasons to stop, but none of them are good. The way to go is forward.

Don’t let anything get in the way and have no boundaries. The sky is the limit, especially with God Who wants to do more than you can ever imagine.

May this year be a year of new normals, greater territory, higher heights and deeper depths. May you look back this coming December and see 2015 as the year you moved forward.


2 Responses to “A Time to Move Forward”

  1. Woodrow Reed says:

    I enjoyed this message

  2. Henrietta Smith says:

    Very good message!

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