Looking to the Future
Where to from here? We’ve all known seasons when that has been our burning question. We know God has been good to us in the past. We know that his plans for our future are always for our ultimate good and for his glory. But how do we step confidently into the future he has prepared for us? As we step into a new year of ministry at the College, I’m acutely aware of our need to keep pressing ahead in faith and obedience, into the future that God has prepared for us.
I have recently been reflecting upon the children of Israel’s journey into the Promised Land. As they stood on the brink of the flooded Jordan River, perhaps with more than just a little uncertainty and fear, God gave his people some encouraging instructions. “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” (Joshua 3:3-4).
They couldn’t see all that God had in store for them, but there were three things they could be well assured of. First, their past experience of God assured them of his continuing faithfulness and provision. In all the past 40 years of wilderness wanderings, God had never once abandoned them, nor had he ever stopped providing for their every need. He had protected them from their enemies, he provided for their daily needs and in all that time not even the sandals on their feet had worn out (Deut 2:7).
Second, he had promised them a glorious future in a land flowing with milk and honey (Deut 27:3). And third, he had promised that his presence would go with them (Ex 33:14) and before them to guide them in the way they should go (Ex 13:21).
Now, all they needed to do was to continue trusting God and follow as the ark of the covenant, that symbol of God’s presence amongst his people, was carried by the priests down to the brink of the Jordan. No, they had never been this way before. The flooded Jordan must have been a confronting sight. The uncertainties of what lay on the other side of the Jordan were real, but God had already demonstrated his power over all things. This is the God who can divide the waters (Ex 13 & 14), who can work miracles. Indeed, this is the God who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or even begin to imagine (Eph 3:20).
The challenge for all of us this year, is to be prepared to take the next steps of faith as we courageously follow God’s leading.
Peter Francis (Principal)