And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure; come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore. Joshua 3:3-4
In the third chapter of Joshua, God is leading the children of Israel. They've come out of the land of Egypt, and they're going into the Promised Land. Their Promised Land is a land of opportunity but also a land of mystery. They are moving into the great unknown, but it's a brand new day.
Well, you may say, what does that have to do with me? The Bible tells us that those wilderness wanderings of God's ancient people serve as examples to us. So we can take these Old Testament portraits and just shout our way through it because there are incredible lessons we can learn.
This new year we are also going into a land of opportunity and a land of mystery. All of our lives will have changes this year. Some may die this year or Jesus may come. We, like the Israelites, are launching both into opportunity and mystery. I want to give to you a formula from the Word of God so we can reach our destination without a map.
It is found in Joshua 3:3: "...When ye see the ark of the covenant...then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it...." God said keep your eye on the ark and don't move until the ark moves. It is important that we understand what the ark was. It was furniture measuring two feet by two feet by four feet. Soon after it had a central place in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. More than that, the Old Testament ark of the covenant was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. It symbolized the holiness of God and His righteousness and presence. It also symbolized the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and is a picture, prophecy and illustration of Jesus found in the Old Testament.
Now, keep all of that in mind, and we will look at how to arrive at our destination without a map. Up until this time the ark had been in the midst of the Israelite's camp. When they moved, the ark moved. But now it is a new day. They're coming out of the wilderness into a new land. No longer is the ark going to go with them — they are going to go with the ark. Now the ark is out in front leading them. That's going to be the way they are guided and therefore that's going to be the way of victory. Are you ready to come out of the wilderness and into your promised land? Well, you're going to have to move with the ark.
How do some Christians live in victory and other Christians not? All Christians have the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in them, but not all Christians are totally following Jesus as Lord. They have Him in their midst, but He's not out in front leading. The difference is not in possession; it is in position.
If you know you have the Lord, then the question is, are you following Him? Is He out in front leading you? Is He guiding you into your land of opportunity and mystery — the New Year? God has a plan and a destination for you, so why don't you need a map? Well, because God's will for you is not a roadmap, but a relationship. The important thing for you is not to know what the future holds, but to keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Friend, you don't have to know what God has planned for you this coming year. You don't have to know where you're going to end up. You don't have to know when and you don't have to know where. You don't even have to know why if you know Jesus. Just know Jesus. The only thing you have to do is to keep your eyes on Him.
Do you know Him? Don't enter a new year without Him.