Encounter: Read or listen to Joshua chapter 1. Underline any word or phrase that emphasizes the importance of the Fellowship of God’s people placed together for God’s purposes. You can also read about Joshua in Exodus 17, 24, 32, 33, & Numbers 11, 13, 27 and in chapters 1, 3 & 31 of Deuteronomy. What words would you use to describe Joshua?
It could have gone very different. This week I went to visit one of our homebound members to share updates on what God has been doing in our Eden family and have communion together. When I stepped out of the car, I heard a loud hissing sound and as I walked towards the house the smell of gas filled the air. I immediately called 911, helped her into my car and we evacuated to the church while emergency vehicles filled the street. A short time later the gas company aired out the home and fixed the valve at the road. Come to find out someone had drove their car into the valve and caused the leak. She had no idea of the danger and I had no idea I would be part of something greater than myself that day.
All week I’ve thought about that different scenario. What would have happened if I had not scheduled a visitation that day? What if someone would have thrown a cigarette out or sparked a fire of some kind? Just thinking about it brought to mind again about how absolutely essential “The Fellowship” of Christ followers is to the welfare of a community.
My experience also made me think of what Julie wrote in EPIC on Day 8, “Every epic tale has that one insurmountable problem whether it’s an evil villain or an unspeakable catastrophe, or any other impending doom from which there is seemingly no escape.”
Throughout our lives, we are faced with a reminder of that “one insurmountable problem.” If disconnected from our Fellowship, we lose the very thing that is meant to encourage and protect us.
Like the heroes that show up in what appears like impending doom, our hero in God’s EPIC story we will talk about this Sunday will lead God’s people where they would not naturally want to go. Together into a new land, filled with opposition and danger. And yet there is a promise, always a promise, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua's reliance on God gave him the courage to lead his often-outnumbered army into battle after battle against much stronger opponents, trusting God to deliver victory after victory. Joshua's reliance on God gave him the strength to fulfill God’s purposes and inspire a whole nation to follow God into the promise.
Like Joshua, God has called us to something greater than ourselves. Christ is inviting us to claim and fight for new ground. Ground that appears to have many dangers as we walk on the way to what has been promised. Let us prepare ourselves for the journey and say together in one voice with those who have gone before us, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.”
With you on this EPIC journey,
Reflect: How do you handle seemingly insurmountable challenges in your life? Have you ever felt like God was inviting you to be part of something much bigger or beyond your own plans? What was it and how did you respond?
Encourage: Is there someone God is inviting you to visit or to serve in some way? Is there a meal you can take to someone in the church who is struggling with ill health? How can you be a hero in the middle of someone’s life where there appears to be doom and gloom? How can you encourage and protect as one of The Fellowship?
Gather: In your Sunday Study Group or Life Group, discuss with friends what your thoughts were as you read through the story of Joshua. What stood out to you? What about his life can you apply to your own life. In what ways was Joshua a hero of his day and what part did he play in God’s EPIC story?