Encouraging Words: “How Long?”

Encouraging Words: “How Long?”

Read Joshua 18:1-10

Thought for the Day: What are you waiting for?

Last summer I was talking to a friend about enrolling in Asbury Seminary for his D.Min. He asked for my advice, and I told him I thought it was a great idea. He shared a number of reasons why he had put off returning to school. He was looking for me to give him encouragement. He was surprised by how much I knew about the program, the cost, and even the commitment it would take. He even thought that I had completed the same program. “No, I informed him. I haven’t even enrolled.”  Then, without missing a beat he asked me, “What are you waiting for?”

I wasn’t prepared for his question. As much as I was certain my friend could benefit from continuing his education, I had made excuse after excuse and kept waiting for just the right time for me to enroll in the program. Despite the fact that I have encouraged others to step out on faith today, I had done the opposite. Today, my friend and I are enrolled in the same program at Asbury Seminary, and we hope to graduate together!

In Joshua 18:3 we read, “Joshua said to the people of Israel, “How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” The Israelites had been instructed to divide up the land but hadn’t completed their work. Joshua knew that every day that passed, the task would only get more difficult. Perhaps the process of going from being nomadic tribes to setting up their own towns felt overwhelming. The truth was that seven tribes had not yet completed the work that God had called them to do!

In our lives, this happens far too often. Whatever God is calling us to do that feels overwhelming (making that difficult phone call, applying for a new job, or making that decision we keep putting off) doesn’t get any easier because we put it off. Today, is God asking you, “What are you waiting for?” If so, it might be time to reply, “Nothing, I just need to trust You!”

In Christ,

Pastor Stan

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