“Never Been This Way Before”
“When you see the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests 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 NIV
I have faced innumerable situations where I had never been before…kneeling at my marriage altar, staring through tears at the precious baby girl in my arms…starting a new church with only us four, landing in war-torn Uganda as rookies, and facing new languages and cultures everywhere we lived. All through my life, I HAD to follow the instructions in this passage!
The Israelites survived 400 years of slavery and 40 years of wilderness, but had they never faced multiple nations with huge armies of horses and chariots. They had never been this way before…but their God had! However, for the Israelites to experience the victories HE had planned, they needed to obey a simple instruction…follow the Ark.
To be able to follow the Lord's Presence, the Israelites had to watch closely to see WHEN and WHERE the Ark moved. But they had practiced watching the Cloud in the wilderness, and even though the road beyond the Jordan was totally different, they had already proved God was trustworthy, so they could follow Him to the unknown.
The paths we face today are vastly different, but the instructions are the same…follow His Presence! If we watch God closely on our current path, we will trust Him even more on the next. Soon we will confidently follow Him anywhere, even though we have never been that way before!