Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Deuteronomy 2:3 – You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn to the north. (NLT)
Monday morning arrived, and I couldn't remember what I needed to do first.
For the last four years, I've had the same morning routine. My profession as a school teacher required me to arrive at school by 7:30 a.m. Now things are different. While I will keep office hours at my new employment, the hours are variable, which gives me more flexibility. My first morning was slightly confusing. Should I do things in the same order that I once did, or could I rearrange them? I chose the latter but found myself confused about what to do first. I also forgot to do some things that I had been doing with predictability for the last four years.
The trip from Egypt to the Promised Land was brief — or at least, it should have been. Stubborn rebellion by the Israelites caused them to wander in the wilderness for forty years until the rebels died. That's when God gave them a new normal. No more wilderness. Now it was time for them to enter the Promised Land.
New norms can bring anxiety. The Israelites would immediately pass through territory belonging to the Edomites. While they were relatives, they weren't friendly relatives. God reminded them that He had been with them in the past and that He would be with them on this new normal journey as well. God never forsakes His children when He leads them into new norms. His indwelling Spirit has the power to soothe our anxieties, regardless of how intense they may seem.
Along with the anxiety of new norms can come unprecedented victories. With a new fighting force, God would lead His children to capture land belonging to Sihon the Amorite and Og, king of Bashan. God doesn't lead me to a new normal just so that I'll have some place fresh to go. He has plans that will involve me in His kingdom advancement.
New norms invite the enemy's attention. Moses had experienced victory, but because of falling earlier into disobedience, he couldn't enter the Promised Land. God has plans for victory by leading us to the new norms, but as always, the believers' enemy is at work, trying to bring defeat. Honing my faith in my new normal keeps me from falling into the enemy's traps.
Rather than being overwhelmed by anxiety, let's enjoy the new norms into which God brings us.
Prayer: Father, help us to trust You when You bring us into new norms. Amen.