Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Places You'll Go

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go." Dr. Seuss in Oh, The Places You'll Go

Place is a big deal to me. It's where I find inspiration, something I identify with, something I connect with and attach to. I love to travel. Recently, I traveled to England, Ireland, and Scotland. Both sides of my family have deep roots in Ireland and Scotland, so I really felt a connection with those places. But in all honesty, there's nothing magical about place. The Lord calls us to go into all the world. So, I can use that as an excuse to travel, right? Listen to this song by Steven Curtis Chapman as you read the rest of the post.

© Steven Curtis Chapman, Youtube
As a kid, life looks simple. Or at least it did to me. Finish high school, go to college, get married, have 2.5 kids, work, get a dog, buy a house, live happily ever after, and do it all over again when grandkids start rolling around. Simple, right? I think a better word for my state of mind was "naïve." Once I graduated college, the Lord rocked my world. I often wondered what He was up to, why life wasn't going the way I planned. But life rarely goes as we plan.

In Joshua 1, the Israelites are preparing to enter the Promised Land, but another people group is occupying it, and they are terrified. The Lord makes Joshua a promise, "I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you" (vs 3-5). I tenaciously claim this promise as my own. I know the Lord never leaves me, or at least I embrace that more every day. I want the confidence to go wherever He leads and know that wherever I set my foot is claimed for Christ.

The main character in my book is a young college graduate who chooses to give up her dreams for a greater calling to serve in Haiti. She thinks she is going to help the people and essentially save the world, but that isn't how life works. The earthquake strikes, and lives are forever changed in the aftermath. As I created her character, I tried to put myself in her shoes. Would I trust the Lord in the middle of something that catastrophic? Would I truly believe that every place I set my foot was claimed territory for Him? As my character wrestled to understand why the Lord would take her somewhere to help and then allow something that awful to happen, I wrestled with her. The truth is, the Lord asks us to change jobs, move, go and serve somewhere and we fight Him in that new place because we doubt He is with us or has our best at heart. Wrong! As the Lord told Joshua, He will NEVER leave or forsake you. You never walk into a new place alone. He goes before you, claims it as your promised land, and then enters it with you, promising you every place you set your foot. If He truly is a God who never changes as His word says, then the promises made to Joshua hold true for you.

What promised land does the Lord desire to use you to conquer right now? Will you trust Him?

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