Now and Forever
As we mature, changes in our lives can be scary and seemingly impassable. For instance, the yearly starting of school, a new job, new love, or even a move; truly, life can sometimes be challenging to pull yourself together and step into the unknown. It is not easy to yield our fight. Regardless of the details, new stages of life bring about challenges and circumstances to face. Yet we should never forget, for those near Christ, He is with us during every season, both now and forever.
Throughout the Bible, the people of God were no different from you and me. After God moved in a mighty way in Egypt, Pharaoh freed the Israelites from four hundred years of slavery. God was moving His people from one stage of their existence to another. Remember, as the descendants of Jacob, the people of Israel were initially in Egypt because the famine was so great and the food supply in Egypt provided for their survival. However, that stage ended and gave way to a new phase that ultimately led to the Promised Land. After spending forty years traveling from Egypt to the land of Israel, God was now going to lead His people into their homeland — a new stage in their existence. However, before crossing the Jordan River into their new land, the people of God assembled one more time to listen to the Law of God before setting up their new homelands. Their plenty turned into their demise; they were not held captive to what was initially so thrilling and fulfilling to them.
So, Moses had many instructions from the Lord. Still, he started by reminding the people of God’s promise to their forefathers so many years ago to bring their offspring to this very place with their population as many as the stars in the sky. Deuteronomy 10:14–18 [The Message Translation) teaches us to
“Look around. Everything you see is God’s — the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it. But it was your ancestors who God fell in love with; he picked their children — that’s you! — out of all the other peoples. That’s where we are right now. So cut away the thick calluses from your heart and stop being so willfully hardheaded. God, your God, is the God of all gods; he’s the Master of all masters, a God immense and powerful and awesome. He doesn’t play favorites, takes no bribes, makes sure orphans and widows are treated fairly, takes loving care of foreigners by seeing that they get food and clothing.
It would be best to treat foreigners with the same loving care — remember, you were once foreigners in Egypt. Reverently respect God, your God, serve him, hold tight to him, back up your promises with the authority of his name. He’s your praise! He’s your God! He did all these tremendous, these staggering things that you saw with your own eyes.
When your ancestors entered Egypt, they numbered a mere seventy souls. And now look at you — you look more like the stars in the night skies in number. And your God did it.”
And, if that promise seemed too distant from the current generation, Moses reminded the people about what God had done in their lives, what they had witnessed personally. He spoke of the plagues, deliverance, and boldly crossing the Red Sea. Moses said, “But it was your own eyes that saw these great things the Lord has done. Observe, therefore, all the commands I am giving you today.” Deuteronomy 11:7–8 (New International Version).
In other words, Moses told the people to remember what God had done in their lives; remember how He led you, how He provided for you, how He taught you, how He molded you into the person you are today. But, more than just remembering those experiences with God, allow those lessons, those victories, and those times of seeing God do great things propel you to obey him as you step into these new journeys/stages of life.
The same concepts should inspire us today. We take a look over your walk with God and see where God directed you, provided for you, taught you a valuable lesson, comforted you during a struggle, and even corrected your wrongdoing and know that you can move forward with God into a new season of life. We see where He provided, showcased His beautiful works, and worked miracles. However, if they had never looked forward — they would have never entered the promised land.
Since God has proved Himself time and again, we can boldly obey Him as he leads us forward in life through all its twists and turns. Regardless of whether God is leading, we know that He will remain faithful and that we can follow Him based upon how He has proven Himself in the past. So we trust God; follow Him where He leads, and ultimately, it is to the land He has promised. Now and forever!