One of the great Bible promises - God himself will go before you.
Several years ago Peggy and I went to China for the first time. We were naturally apprehensive about how we would get around without speaking Mandarin. Our daughter lived there and her language skills were pretty good. However, she could not help us at the Beijing airport to transfer to our domestic flight.
One of our Chinese friends in the United States told us he knew a person who would meet and help us. After getting through customs, we headed toward the baggage claim area. About fifty yards in front of us were hundreds of Chinese people standing behind a metal rail waiting for family and friends. It was an intimidating sight. We knew no one and couldn't speak the language. Suddenly I looked up and saw someone holding a large sign that read: PAUL FROM OMAHA. That sign was for us! Although we had never met him, this man had taken an entire day off work to help us take our first steps into a new country.
God went before the Israelites
I often think of that experience when I read the words that Moses spoke to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:8: The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. At this juncture in Israel's history, Moses was summoning Joshua to be his successor and lead the people into the land God had promised them. It was something that Joshua had never done before. Furthermore, the time for Moses' departure from this life had come. Joshua's mentor would not be with him. It was time for Joshua to cultivate a fresh faith.
God will go before you
As you consider your own challenges in the coming year, let the Bible promises that Moses gave Joshua calm your fears and give you hope and confidence. God himself knows exactly what you will face in 2017 and he will go before you. He will prepare the way. God will be with you every step of the way and never leave your side.
God will go before whatever your situation: As you cultivate a closer relationship with your spouse...as you parent your 14-year-old son...as you change jobs...as you work to pay off your debts. No matter what you are facing, the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. So be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. God will be with you.
Author: Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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Discussion ideas for your small group or Sunday School class.
1. When has someone "paved the way" and gone before you?
2. When has it been evident that God prepared you, people, and situations just for you?
3. If you awoke every day recalling Deuteronomy 31:8, how would it impact your attitude and mind-set?
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