LAY HOLD OF YOUR FUTURE
MOSES IS DEAD! NOW WHAT?
This article is adapted from one of Jack Hayford’s messages called Lay Hold of Your Future
We have not chosen Him but He has chosen us (John 15:16). The Lord has personally selected you. Wrapped up in the very word for “church” is the idea of being called out for a specific reason. God has called us out of our own plans for our lives and out of the confusion of our past.
Then once He calls us out, He calls us in: into the excellency of His Kingdom, into communion with Him, and into His plan for our lives. It may sometimes seem that the plan lies just around the next bend in the road of our spiritual walk with Christ, just beyond our reach or not very well defined. But we “press on” so that we may grasp God’s plan for us, the plan God had in mind when He “grasped” us!
Keep moving on! His plan is there for you! And it is in His plan that you will find your firmest purpose, deepest fulfillment, and highest joy.
Have you ever had promises of what your future would be like but became discouraged or disappointed when it didn’t happen as you expected?
When I was in junior high, I had a verified place on the basketball team even before I got to high school. So, the day the season was to begin, I was playing volleyball and I jammed my knee against another guy when we both went up to spike the ball. I could hardly walk, much less run. So, I lost my place on the basketball team. And while I eventually got back on the team, I was always a rung behind where I could have been. This was one of several episodes in my youth like this.
There are amazing numbers of people who are still trapped in their view of yesterday’s disappointments. I want to encourage you to take hold of the promise of your future. It is not just going to happen.
“. . . the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them… No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage . . .” (Joshua 1:1-3,5,6)
To this point Joshua had lived his life in a shadow of the remarkable personality Moses. Likewise, you can be dictated to in your present by the precedent that has taken place in your life. Predecessors. They can be events or they can be people—parents, teachers, or those who were like Moses was to Joshua.
YOUR PAST IS DEAD
How many people never see the sunlight of tomorrow and all its possibilities because they live in the shadow of yesterday? The first words the Lord speaks to Joshua that opened up this possibility of a future promise, “Joshua, get hold of this: Moses is dead.” God is telling Joshua anything that has gone before that may have been inhibitive, intimidating, or restrictive in anyway is dead.
The word of the Lord to you is this: Whatever it is that has shaped your life until this moment doesn’t have any claim on where I’m wanting to take you to from here on. Anything that may have been negative, problematic, or disappointing—the Lord is saying, “Come to terms with this: it’s dead! Don’t let any bitterness spring up in your soul.”
SEIZE ALL THE PROMISE
To possess your tomorrows, the issue is will you take the dimension of the possessions that God has given you? Will the dimensions of the possessions equal the dimensions of the promise? Will you take it all or just be satisfied with a corner? It all rides on response to the charge the Lord gives Joshua and the Lord gives you.
The Lord charges Joshua three times, “Be strong and of good courage!” He is instructing Joshua what is required to possess his future promise. Have conviction and courage. In the Hebrew, it means good courage, lay hold and seize. Possessing your tomorrow requires these two things—having courage and seize it. Reach out, lay hold, and do not let go. The starting point to seizing your future is to recognize that you are dealing in the arena of promise. Lay hold of it because God has sworn it. He has a covenant with you.
SEIZE THE WORD
The second time God said to Joshua to be strong and of good courage is in verse seven. So “that you may observe to do according to all the law.” The way you lay hold on tomorrow is that you do what the Word says. Lay hold of the pattern, the principles, and the purity that’s in God’s Word. It will ensure your life doesn’t get contaminated with junk. For practical purposes of living in the way of God and finding that way works, lay hold of the Word and your life will work.
SEIZE THE LORD
God told Joshua a third time, “Be strong and very courageous.” Verse nine says, “Do not be afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Lay hold of the promise and stand firm. And here’s why. I’m going to be with you.
When God says, “Take that land to fulfill your purpose.” I see Joshua here asking, “How do I do it?” “First, lay hold firmly to My promises.” “Okay, Lord, now what?” “Be strong and courageous. Be firm in My patterns for life.” And the Lord says, “Lay hold of . . . Me.” And Joshua then seizes hold of the Lord.
The promise of your future is pregnant with Divine possibilities, yet integrated with human responsibility. God has secured your future yet it requires you to reach out and take it – to possess your future of divine promises.
The Lord says, “I want you to lay hold of My promises; Lay hold by obeying the patterns in My word. Then lay hold of Me, embracing the presence of God every day then you will arrive at what I’m bringing you to the promises of your future.