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God is Still With Us

A leadership transition can be difficult. In times of uncertainty, a myriad of questions flood people’s minds: How will we make it? What will our future be like? How will our new leader treat us? Churches and ministries can be especially challenged by the complexity of transition. But the ones who seem to thrive during those challenging times remember that the Lord is still with them.

When Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea in Exodus 14, it was the unofficial start of their quest. In today’s text, the crossing of the Jordan marks the unofficial completion of their wilderness wanderings and the beginning of their conquest of the Promised Land. A new chapter had begun for Joshua and the Israelites. And, while the location and leadership changed, the Lord and His presence remained the same.

This was an exciting and important time for God’s people. Here Joshua gives instructions for this part of the journey: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you” (v. 5). Verse 7 is the key verse in this chapter’s narrative. The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.” As they embarked on a new chapter, the Lord was still the author and protector of their lives. God would go before them, just as He had in the past.

We may have times when we wonder if God is really with us. It is possible this same thought raced through the minds of Joshua, the priests, and the Israelites. That is why the Lord reminded them that He had been with Moses and their parents and grandparents (v. 7).

>> What transitions are you facing? Is your church making changes you don’t agree with? Is your household becoming smaller or bigger? Perhaps you are changing jobs or neighborhoods? Whatever quest the Lord is taking you on, He is with you.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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