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Crossing the Border | Today with Dr. Mark Jobe

“I encounter many believers who are stuck in a spiritual desert. God has set you free, but you’ve never crossed the border. You are not in the place God wants you to be.”

Crossing a border security checkpoint can be intimidating. On one such trip, while passing through Frankfurt, Germany, I was asked to show my identification. The security officer flipped through the pages of my passport, shook her head sternly, and handed it back to me. “I can’t let you in,” she declared. “There is nowhere left to stamp.” My stomach flipped. Frantically, I paged through the booklet and was relieved to discover one empty space. One little thing had almost sabotaged my trip and kept me from crossing the border.

I wonder how many of us, spiritually, are kept on this side of the border, away from where God wants us to be? I encounter many believers who are stuck in a spiritual desert. God has set you free, but you’ve never crossed the border. You are exhausted, anxious, failing to experience the spiritual rest that God has promised His children (Hebrews 4).

In this month’s study of Joshua, the Israelites were waiting at the border of the Promised Land, the place God had prepared for them. Free from slavery in Egypt, they followed Moses into the desert. But because of their disobedience and unbelief, the journey was long and arduous. Unwilling to trust God, they found themselves stuck in a place they didn’t want to be, unable to enter the Promised Land for 40 years.

This land was the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people, giving them expanded territory (Josh. 1:3, 4), victory over their opponents (v. 5), His close companionship, strength, and courage (v. 6). What was required of them? To be strong and courageous, obedient to God’s Law, with a laser-focus on Him (vv. 7–9). But they were stuck; and we can get stuck also. We are often reluctant to step out in faith when God calls us, and this delayed obedience is always disobedience.

Friend, if you hear God calling you, do not harden your heart. The author of Hebrews challenges us to follow God out of the desert and into His promises: “Since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it” (Heb. 4:1). Stepping forward in faith, we can live out the truth of our salvation, follow Him in obedience, and enter His abundant rest.

BY Dr. Mark Jobe, President

Dr. Mark Jobe is the president of Moody Bible Institute. He has served as the lead pastor of New Life Community Church, one church that meets at 27 locations. Mark earned a diploma from Moody Bible Institute in 1984, a master’s degree from Moody Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in transformational leadership from Bakke Graduate University. He is the author of What Now?: How to Move into Your Next Season (Moody Publishers) and can be heard on Bold Steps, a daily program on Moody Radio. He and his wife, Dee, have three adult children and two grandchildren.

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