The Lord said to Joshua – “Get Ready!” – Joshua 1:2
Fall is upon us! Are you ready? Have you prepared to seize the opportunities that God has placed before you and face the challenges that are sure to come your way?
Every new season of life, big or small, demands that we Get Ready! As I finish this season as Senior Pastor at Venture Church to focus 100% at Living on the Edge, I’ve been studying how God prepares His people to be successful in each new season. And I’ve learned a few things.
In Deuteronomy chapters 31-34, Moses gives his last sermon to God’s people just prior to them entering and conquering the Promised Land. Early one morning last week, I had the vivid sense that God was speaking to me through this passage. As I read and reread these chapters, I pulled out my journal and jotted the following observations about preparing for our next season.
- Review your HISTORY. REMEMBER God’s great acts and faithfulness.
- God’s intent and purposes are for our GOOD. He always wants the BEST for us.
- Loyalty and obedience are PREREQUISITES to experience His BLESSINGS.
- His WORD must be CENTRAL to live a life of faith that honors Him and blesses us.
- Idols are INTOLERABLE and result in discipline, destruction, and God’s curse.
- God’s PROMISES are the source of faith and courage. He goes before us and DEFEATS our enemies.
- Our responsibility is to be STRONG (overcome obstacles) and COURAGEOUS (overcome fear) by resting in His presence.
- Structured times must be built into the rhythm of our lives to TEACH the next generation His WORD and CHARACTER.
- Leadership is crucial and demands a personal commitment to renewing PRACTICES and encouraging PEOPLE to experience God’s sustaining presence.
- God’s standard for leaders is HIGH. The greater our KNOWLEDGE of God, the greater our RESPONSIBILITY to represent Him faithfully.
After sharing these thoughts with the Living on the Edge staff and discussing their implications, I realized there are 3 essential themes that emerge from this passage: God’s PROMISES, God’s POWER, and God’s PRESENCE.
When we enter new seasons, we need a renewed focus on His PROMISES, a fresh experience of His POWER and quality time in His PRESENCE. The question is how do we get that?
The answer is as simple as it is profound. We get it exactly how Jesus provided it for His disciples and how the early Church followed Jesus’ example. Jesus chose a small group to be with Him and the Early Church met from house to house.
Unfortunately, we all find ourselves going through the motions at times. We can just “go to church,” read our Bible sporadically and maintain our moral standards, and yet completely miss the “Promised Land” God has prepared for us in this new season. We’re human. We fall into ruts. The vacation season and unstructured summer schedules can leave us complacent and lethargic. It takes an intentional level of focus to prepare for the new opportunities and challenges of the fall.
My primary small group did not meet this summer. It was a nice break, family vacation was wonderful, and the change of pace was refreshing. But I need the support, accountability, and structure of key people in my life to help me tackle the God-ordained opportunities and challenges set before me.
How about you? Are you ready for this fall season? Do you have a group, a time, a study, and a plan that will give you what you need to be strong and courageous? Have you spiritually prepared yourself and your family as you head back into the school year and all that it brings?
If the answer is “well sort of…” — let me encourage you. I want to help you seize the opportunity and make this fall a time of significant growth, joy, and impact for you and those you love.
I strongly believe that lasting life change demands the study of God’s Word in the context of authentic relationships. But barriers like time, cost, and fear keep us from taking the first step to leading or joining a small group. At Living on the Edge, we’ve taken some significant steps to solve each of those barriers (listen to this month’s Coffee Break recording for more details).
- ALL of our small group studies can now be digitally streamed, so participants can watch on their own schedule and provide time for discussion, prayer, and accountability in the group setting.
- All of our small group resources have been significantly reduced in price this fall, so you can choose what fits your group best.
- Every study is “turn key” with video teaching, participant workbooks, and we’ve developed a free online course to help you develop your skills as a small group leader/facilitator.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support that help us equip you and so many others to “get ready” to live like Christians.
Making a Difference Together,
CEO and Teaching Pastor
Living on the Edge