Day 9 - May 20, 2019

Courage And Trust
Week 2 : Leap With Courage

So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. -- Joshua 3:14-17

In Joshua chapter three. Joshua and the Israelites are going to Shittim. In order to get there they have to cross the Jordan River during its flood season. God gives Joshua authority to lead the Israelites. Even though they were faced with something that seems impossible they decide to trust in Joshua, who was led by God. They follow him through this flooding river. We also see that before they followed God through the river they consecrated themselves.

As we live our lives we definitely come across raging rivers and probably have even stopped by them. Our obstacle may not be a physical river but a financial river or a relationship river. We can allow these fears to stop us by not trusting in God. Instead we have to imitate the faith of the Israelites. They showed courage and trusted God as He miraculously led them through the river. We serve a God who can do the impossible and lead us to new lands. Let us dedicate ourselves to God's will by being in His Word constantly, praying and fasting. Then we will be able to be led by His Spirit wherever He takes us.

Your call to Leap:
Read Joshua 3, continue to pray and petition God. Then decide to have courage and confidence in God as He leads us.

Day 8: May 19th, 2019

Spiritual Inertia
Week 2 : Leap With Courage

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. -- Joshua 2:8-11 

Close your eyes and try to visualize a NASA launch of a space shuttle. The shuttle needs a lot of power and energy to get it off the ground. Once off the ground the energy needed to keep it moving becomes less and less. An object will continue to be rest until acted upon by an outside force. In the same way once in motion it continues to be in motion, that's inertia.

Read Joshua Chapter two and think about: How did Rahab know that the Lord had given the land over to the Israelites? What were Rahab’s beliefs about the God of Israel?

Rahab was a Canaanite woman who had heard of the God of Israel and what He had done. She acted courageously by putting her faith into action and hiding the spies. She put her life in danger but the end result was saving everyone that came to her home. Rahab's journey started with hearing stories of God's power. Her faith grew to the point of risking her life. After hearing Rahab the spies said to Joshua, "The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us." (Joshua 2:24)

If we want to make a lasting impact in our community, we will need to overcome our spiritual inertia. It would take a lot of faith in God to overcome our doubts, insecurities, fear, negativity, pessimism, past hurts and negative experiences. As we hear of God's power through His Word, like Rahab we can grow in faith and overcome any challenge.

Your call to leap:
Read Joshua 2. Pray for consistency in your prayer times and Bible Studies. Continue to build on the spiritual inertia by being consistent with our daily devotionals.

Day 7: May 18th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: More Than Enough

"...and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments." Exodus 35:20​-​21​

"And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary...said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.” Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. Exodus 36:3​-​7

The Israelites gave because their hearts were moved to do so (Exodus 35:21). The building of the tabernacle was one instance where the family of God united together for a common good. A compelling vision or cause inspires the willingness of people to give and even sacrifice for a project that is bigger than themselves.

In fact, they gave so much that Moses had to do something that we rarely hear any leader doing. He told them to stop giving. Imagine if the members of our church not only gave enough—on the spot—but they also kept giving to the point that you had to restrain them. When our hearts and hands are open to His plans, that frees us to be more generous than we thought was possible.

The Israelites were emulating God's heart, who always gives us "more than enough."

Your call to leap:
Write down all the ways that God has given you "more than enough." Pray for God to move our church's heart the way the Israelites' hearts were moved to freely give.

Day 6: May 17th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: God's Friend

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. -- Exodus 33:11

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. -- John 15:15

God spoke to Moses face to face, not by an angel, but He himself, the Almighty God, creator of the universe. He spoke to Moses in plain words to be understood without any confusion or explanation. As a man speaks to his friend. Freely, openly, with familiarity. Not in a reserved way that would cause fear or show any kind of authority.

John 15:5 is one of the most prominent descriptions of the kind of relationship Jesus had with his disciples. The friendship that Jesus demonstrated was deep, self-sacrificial and with loving commitment. This is the God that we serve . A God who wants nothing more than to have an intimate relationship with His children. A God who who wants to be our friend and stand by our side in times of crisis, times of insecurities, and fears. When we feel pressed from every side and have no where else to go. HE s there.

Your Call to Leap:
Write down all the ways that God has been a friend to you. Pray for an intimate relationship with God.

Day 5: May 16th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: Deal With Uncertainty

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” -- Exodus 14:15-18

Much like the Israelites we can be fearful when we face a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. They had their backs against the sea and the Egyptians at their heels. But God had promised that He would deliver them and spare them from the Egyptians. And we all know the deliverance came in the form of the parting of the sea.

Likewise, we may wonder or even be fearful of how can we possibly raise enough money to enable us to be in a position to someday purchase a permanent church building. We must be reminded that when we are aligned with God’s will for us then we can be assured that he will lead the way.

As you recall, a survey was sent to all of us asking us about our desire for our own church building. The overwhelming response was YES. This reply surely came with the understanding that it will require faith and sacrifice in order for your desire to become a reality.

Your Call to Leap:
We ask that you spent time in prayer, in fasting, and in meditative time with God so that your fears or uncertainty will be eased. Let us all rise up in unison and take ownership of this leap towards faith and believe that this too is possible, but only with God.

Day 4: May 15th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: God Will Fight For You

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -- Exodus 14:10-14

There are so many important things on our minds today. How are the bills going to get paid? How you are going to get everything on your to do list done? Who are you going to marry? (Singles) How are you going to overcome your illness? Don't you wish there was an easy way to get all of the answers to all of your important questions? All of these thing have a huge impact on our emotions and feelings.

How do you think all the things that are on our hearts today compare to all the things that were on the hearts of Moses and the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt in Exodus? Israelites were not far from leaving Egypt but coming after them was the Egyptian army. In front of them was a large body of water that they could not cross. They didn't see a way forward in life, just like we often don't. At that time Moses raised his staff and said to them, "you only need to be still". He told them that "the Lord will fight for you". The Lord was going to give them a way forward. In the same way the Lord will always give us the way forward.

Your Call to Leap:
Write down a list of things in your life that you need God's help to move forward with. Be still in prayer and ask God for a way forward. Pray for God's way forward for our Capital Campaign. Read Exodus 14.

Day 3: May 14th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: God Our Protector

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling -- Exodus 15:13

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. -- 1 John 2:1-2

Exodus 15:13 is part of a song Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord after He had delivered the people of Israel from the pursuing Egyptian army. After the Israelites walked through the Red sea on dry land they were convinced that God is a protector. Just as God leads his people out of Egypt with unfailing love and with his protection we can have the confidence that as we take a leap of faith towards the future we can trust God by his love and security.

In 1 John 2:1 Jesus is described as our advocate before the Father. We have the incredible ongoing act of protection as Jesus acts as our Advocate before God the Father, appealing to Him on our behalf. So as his people together we need to seek him for guidance so that no fear will stop us from all his blessings or blind us from what amazing things God has in store for us all.

Your Call to Leap:
Pray specifically about all the ways God has protected you.   Pray about your fears and trust God to protect and deliver you.  Read Exodus 15.

Day 2: May 13th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: Fear To Faith

The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” -- Exodus 5:19-21

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. -- Hebrews 11:27-29

The dictionary definition for fear is: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; an unpleasant and often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. In contrast faith as described in Hebrews 11:1 is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

The Israelites had been oppressed for 400 years and they felt like God had abandoned them. During this time Moses came to them with a message of hope and deliverance and they believed him (Exodus 4:31). The next chapter of Exodus 5 details the height Pharaoh's oppression of the Israelites that stemmed from his anger towards them. Pharaoh anger was a result of Moses' request that the Israelites be allowed to take a three-day journey to offer sacrifices. The Israelites went from believing to being overwhelmed by fear from Pharaoh's threats. Exodus 5 is proof that God's plan doesn't always go how we expect it. This is how their journey of fear to faith began.  Exodus 5 described their reality and Hebrews 11 recounts God's victory.

God will always walk us through our disappointments, but we need to trust Him.

Often our disappointments can teach us where our hearts truly are. It can show us if our hearts are trusting God, or if we are relying on our own abilities and strength.

If we focus on the end, we can see the big picture and the struggles are just part of the journey. Shaping us into people who rely completely on God.

Your Call to Leap:
What are areas in your life that you are disappointed with?  Ask God to help us trust him and teach us to see His vision for our life. Read Exodus 5.

Day 1: May 12th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: Who Am I?

Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”  — Exodus 3:11-12

One of the lessons God had been teaching Moses for a long time is the lesson of humility. It came in an especially clear way when Moses tried to rescue Israel on his own and got himself chased out of Egypt (see Exodus 2:11-15). It also came through forty years of tending sheep in Midian—a life far different from the one Moses probably envisioned for himself when he was living in the house of Pharaoh!

Moses reaction is pretty much what ours would be: You must have the wrong person! Moses simply couldn't understand how he fit into God's plan.  In our life we may feel we have a lack of qualifications to achieve the work that God desired to be done.  We may feel limited by fear, finances, health, and even lack of time.  Moses was afraid and unqualified.  God does not acknowledge Moses when answering his question, "Who am I?" God responded by explaining who He is.   The point is when God works, He can achieve the results with any vessel or tool that He desires.

Your Call to Leap:
Are you able to obey God’s call even when you feel inadequate to the task? Pray to rely on God to strengthen you and give you courage? Stay patient and learn what it is God is teaching you. Read Exodus 3.