Stepping Intentionally

“This is a catalog of the kings of the land whom Joshua and the Israelites defeated … 31 kings in all.” Joshua 12:7a, 24b”

 

A real-life tightrope walker dared to cross a gorge near the Grand Canyon on live television. I didn’t know this guy, but my fear for him and his potential plummet to the bottom of the canyon was real. I wondered why he would do this. With each step I prayed, Please God, let him make it across! Does he have a parachute Lord? 

The wind blew so hard at times he’d stop and squat on the rope to lower himself beneath the gusts. He would pause and pray, then stand and continue across.

Yet possibly the craziest part was this wasn’t his first attempt at something so risky.

If I ever crossed a canyon, or a waterfall, or something else really high on a tight-rope and I survived, let me assure you — that would be the first and only time you’d see me do such a thing. Actually I would never do that! Just the thought freaks me out.

Stepping out of our comfort zones can be scary. But to do it more than once takes true faith. That’s the kind of faith the Israelites had. We see this especially as they conquered the Promised Land.

In our  verse, we read “This is a catalog of the kings of the land whom Joshua and the Israelites defeated …” (Joshua 12:7a). The chapter ends with “… 31 kings in all.” Tucked between these verses, we find the names of kings in the land of Canaan who fought, but couldn’t defeat, Joshua and God’s people as they entered the land God promised them.

After the walls of Jericho fell, the army marched, God moved in power and the Israelite army conquered 30 more kings.

And I wonder, with each new foe: Did they worry about the outcome? Did they question if God would show up this time like He did that day at Jericho?

Too often, I march into daily battles, wondering if this will be the time God doesn’t show up, rather than charging full speed ahead, knowing Whom I’m following and counting fully on Him.

There have been times I needed to do things where I could not imagine how I would get through the situation, “after all I never have done this before!” I do not like surprises.

Enter fear, panic, doubt.

But before I fell completely over the edge, God interrupted. He reminded me of prayer and my direct access to Him at all times. He pointed me to the many times He’d provided and counseled me to count on Him again.

So instead of wondering if God would show up, I threw all my concerns on His shoulders.

I’ve heard confidence defined as “demonstrated ability.” And I think we can apply this definition to our spiritual lives.

I don’t know how Joshua and his army approached each battle following the victory at Jericho, but I know how they should have — confidently. God had demonstrated His ability at Jericho (and many other times, too).

This same confidence is available to us through Jesus. When we make Jesus Lord of our lives, God is not only with us, He is also in us. And since God is able, and God is with us, we can count on Him.

As the man on the tightrope crouched beneath the winds, one thing changed everything. Across the canyon, his father spoke into a microphone linked to an earpiece that fed directly into his son’s soul.

The son walked, as the father talked.

The father encouraged, supported and guided. Another step. He cheered, comforted and listened. Another step. 

No matter how hard the wind blew, the son knew his father saw him, and he heard his father say, “You can do this.”

And just like that father and son, God walked me down my road, guiding me  safely from one place to another.

Is it time for you to step out on the tightrope of trust?

Mark

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