May 31

…you have not passed this way before. Joshua 3:4

The Holy Spirit leads us in ways that are not merely a repetition of the pattern of past blessing. If this were not the case, we would not need Him. The uncertainty and unfamiliarity cause us to feel our way forward like a child learning to ride a bike, or a stranger arriving in a foreign city. The effect is humbling and faith-building. We must look to God, and not to past experiences, for the assurance we seek as we move forward. God will cause our circumstances to change, and if we will not step out into the unknown with God then we will remain in the shallows of predictability – nothing can ever happen that will disturb our calm, because we iron it out of our lives. The result is spiritual deadness. This is a challenge to all who have responsibility for others. The Church must go through new challenges, and if we do not rise to meet them, then we will become a people with a good past but a static present. Joshua had to face obstacles, battles, and situations for which no past experience could prepare him. All the riches of our experience with God cannot replace the need to walk with Him now through the challenging new things we will face if we will dare to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. God is the God of endless newness, and one of the marks of the Holy Spirit is that He rarely repeats Himself, while never contradicting Himself. Reach out, obey, believe and discover the wonder of the infilling of life in the Spirit.