We might be tempted to think that the mission of God was completed and closed when Jesus died on the cross and victoriously rose from the dead. Though the mission of God reached its apex on the cross, Christ’s mission is far from complete. Jesus himself commissioned the church to finish his work on earth (Acts 1:8).
Like us, Joshua’s generation of Israelites were called to participate in the unfinished mission of God. It was a mission that God revealed to their ancestor Abraham hundreds of years ago. God promised him blessings, a great nation, and land. Although Abraham’s children had multiplied and been blessed in a myriad of ways, they still did not have a land to call home. The Book of Joshua is about God beginning to fulfill the promise of land to the Israelites. While Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, Joshua’s generation still had much work to be done. (Joshua 1:1-6)
“Get ready to cross the Jordan River…,” the Lord commanded Joshua. Yet, the work of God is rarely accomplished easily. “The river Jordan had a separating rather that a connection function,” one commentator says. It ran through a deep gorge, was walled by mountains, and was surrounded by thicket. At flood stage – when the Israelites would cross it – the river was at its widest, its deepest, and its most rapid flow. For the thousands upon thousands of Israelites, the river would have seemed like a nearly impassable obstacle.
We too face mounting challenges, when we step out to participate in God’s grander mission. Church consultant Kevin Ford said of the mission of the Church, “Reaching out involves loss – loss of comfort, a loss of self-focus, and perhaps a loss of some personal enjoyment.”
As the people of God seek to participate in God’s grander mission, they will cross rivers that seem impassible and climb mountains that seem insurmountable. Why? Because, it is the Lord’s mission! The Lord said to Joshua, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you,” and the Lord Jesus Christ says to us, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20).” If God is for us, who can be against us! So, what are you waiting for? How is God calling you to participate in his grander mission to redeem, reconcile, and restore all things to himself?
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