You have never been this way before

Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. From Joshua 3

The Israelites had camped on the edge of the Jordan River for three days. But now it was time to move. God was about to part the river as the priests walked into it. But before they go He has specific instructions for the people. One part in particular sticks out to me: He tells them to follow the ark of the covenant “since you have never traveled this way before…”. The ark of the covenant represented God dwelling with His people. God wanted the Israelites to follow His presence. To not run ahead, to not go off on their own. But to simple follow Him, because they had never been this way before.

I am struck by how true that is of everyday of my life. I have never been this way before. But that is not how I operate. As I sit here I can think about how I usually plan for the future. I usually think about the past and then try to plan off of that. Maybe I try to avoid previous mistakes, or maybe I try to repeat things that have worked for me before or even worked for people I look up to. But I have never been this way before. I have never lived today before and the same will be true tomorrow. I feel like I spend too much time just making “good guesses” about what to do in my life and then just running ahead of Him hoping He blesses my plans.

But I think today should look different. I have never done today before, and I want to choose to listen to God and not move until He does.

Father, I am sorry for running ahead so often. I want to make today different. I choose to submit and get behind you. I choose to simply follow you.


erikaDiving In is our online mid-week devotional. It jumps into the message from Sunday and takes us a little deeper. Take a moment to slow down from your busy day, and hear from the Holy Spirit. We re-post every Wednesday. You can follow along by clicking the +Follow button in the bottom-right corner of your screen. This week Diving In is written by Erika Thornton (Pastor Jonathan’s wife).