Day: 25 | Plan: Joshua-Judges
Today's Reading: Judges 1
Judges 1:1 (NIV) “After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, ‘Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?’”
Transitions in life can be tricky. No sooner does life settle into a normal rhythm than something unexpected happens, causing our circumstances to rearrange and our direction to recalculate. But transitions are a normal part of life and necessary if we want to keep moving forward.
The Israelites faced transitions all the time and some of the most challenging ones came in seasons of new leadership. When Moses died, the Israelites mourned deeply, but they had Joshua as a prominent successor to rely on. Joshua was a great commander and spiritual leader helping the Israelites transition well.
But when Joshua passed away, no obvious successor was ready to take his place and there was still much land to acquire. I can almost imagine the Israelites looking at each other and saying, “Now what?” Fortunately, they had learned great lessons from Moses and Joshua that would help as they faced another major transition.
These lessons became a lifeline as they took steps forward in conquering the land. And these lessons can help you and me transition well as life changes come our way.
1. Seek God first for instructions and direction.
The Israelites could have appointed their next leader based on appearances or majority interest—someone strong, fearless and covered in leadership qualities. But they made the wise decision to ask the Lord first, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” (Judges 1:1b). God’s response not only provided straightforward instructions, but it also included encouragement: “Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands” (Judges 1:2b).
When we’re facing challenges or in a difficult season of transition, let’s be sure to go to God first for instructions. His instruction is more important than anyone else’s and His answers will always provide the wisdom we need for clear direction.
2. Surround yourself with support.
Before heading into battle against the Canaanites, the men of Judah asked the tribe of Simeon for help. (Judges 1:3) Facing their enemies would be extremely challenging so enlisting the support of others would become crucial in achieving victory.
If you find yourself in a major battle against Satan, don’t try to go it alone. Surround yourself with believers who know God’s Word to effectively pray over you and your circumstances. Be open to receiving their support and encouragement, especially when you’re physically weary, spiritually depleted and emotionally undone.
3. Stay the course.
With God’s help, the tribe of Judah not only started strong, but they stayed the course. They conquered one territory after another, capturing cities and defeating kings. Not all of the tribes were successful in their quests. Some started strong, but lacked discipline and faith and became distracted in pursuing their own interests.
Are you currently in a difficult season of transition? Does the path ahead seem long, uncertain and hard to manage?
Stay strong and stay the course. Look to God each day for guidance and direction. Keep your chin up and your mind focused on the truth of His Word. Surround yourself with friends and family who will love and support you when the road gets bumpy. And always keep moving forward—even when the enemy tries to shake you up with lies and confusion. Don’t let him stop you from forging forward. I know it’s not always easy, but remember … God is by your side and fighting for you. He will prevail!
If we remain obedient, trust God’s goodness and continuously look to Him for direction, one day we’ll look back on our hard seasons of transition and see just how faithful He was through it all.
Prayer: Lord, change can be so hard at times. Transitioning from one season of life to another comes with difficulties I’m not always able to manage on my own. When the load gets heavy, remind me to look to You for guidance and direction. When I become weary, fill me with Your strength. When I get discouraged, breathe a fresh wind of hope into my soul and replenish me with Your joy. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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