Passing Over: A New Season Has Begun
All of us able to read this narrative have passed over; we have exited the year 2015 and have been translated into 2016. On one level, passing from one year into another, nothing miraculous happens. One day closes and another begins. Yet there is also a type of newness and resoluteness that can hover in the air. This often comes in the form of vowing for change, betterment, resolve, and deeper spirituality. Even within a year there are moments and things we pass over, go through, and experience. The People of God in Joshua 3:16-17 crossed over the Jordan River: “…The waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. 17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.”
Passing over the Jordan River was an interesting time for Israel and such principles still apply to us today. Not everybody made it to the Jordan River or into to the Promised Land. Remember the words of Joshua “For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord: unto whom the Lord sware that he would not shew them the land, which the Lord sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey” (Joshua 5:6).Thus as we look back on our past, there are some things we will leave in 2015 and some things we will carry into this new year. It is a delicate, complex, and even emotional process, because some of 2015 we are forced to leave behind that we wish we could still embrace.
Understand this reality, despite the fact that you are leaving another year
behind, God is giving you fresh wineskins for a new year. God expected Israel to be successful in passing over the Jordan River because He knew they were aware of their history and would not be destined to make the same mistakes of their past. Despite exiting their past and walking into their triumphant future, God urged them to keep the Passover. Once they all made it across the Jordan River and all the males were appropriately circumcised “..The Lord said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. 10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho” (Joshua 5:9-10).
The Passover was designed for Israel to remember their enslaved condition under the tyrannical hand of Pharaoh and God’s radical deliverance. Like Israel, despite passing over and into a new year, do not forget the pottery hand of God that molded, guided, shaped, and protected you in 2015. God urges you to leave your negativity, mistakes, transgressions, and sins of 2015 in the past, but continually remember the powerful might of God that told Joshua through deliverance, “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses” (Joshua 1:2-3).
Just as God had a plan for Joshua and Israel, God has a divine plan for you in 2016. Place faith over flesh and be unwavering, assertive, and aggressive — apprehending your blessings and providence from the Most High. Jesus said “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Remember the deliverance and providence of God and do not forget, you are the clay In The Potter’s Hands and God has paved a way to save you today!
Dr. Ammar Saheli