… the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water ... — JOSHUA 3:15
When January rolls around, it seems as if people everywhere are working toward big, lofty goals. They’re going to read more, get fit, and obtain career success all at the same time. However, instead of joining everyone in their pursuits, I often find myself pushing against such aspirations. Whether it’s fear of failure, skepticism, or just a hardness of heart, I resist the “new year, new me” mentality.
But, this year, the Lord has been asking me to look deeper.
Should we as believers set goals and “resolutions”? Should we resist them and write them off as worldly? Maybe, there’s not a right answer but instead, there’s a higher calling: a calling to pursue Godliness and the things of God by resetting our everyday rhythms to align with God’s priorities. And maybe, this happens little by little, day-by-day, with our eyes set on eternity.
What Are God’s Priorities?
If we are going to pattern our lives around the plans and priorities of God, we must first know what they are. This knowledge is a knowledge of intimacy. It comes from knowing Him through His Word and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
While this knowledge grows as we grow in spiritual maturity, there are also markers for us to start with like these commandments found in Matthew.
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” - Matthew 22:37-39
Knowing this, we can begin to evaluate our days:
If not, it’s time to reset.
How Do We Reset Our Daily Rhythms?
Much like resolutions, taking on too much too fast can be discouraging and defeating. Instead, resetting daily rhythms looks like making small changes little by little. Oftentimes, it’s only after we complete one, small step that the Lord reveals what we should do next.
Shortly after the death of Moses, when the Israelites received instructions to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land, we read this in Joshua 3:15b-16a: “the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away,”
It was only when the feet of the priests were dipped in the water that the water stopped flowing.
Scripture doesn’t tell us if those priests were reluctant or fearful or hesitant, but it does tell us their feet had to enter the water first. I think if it was me, I would’ve felt much more confident if the raging water stopped and cleared for me before I had to step in. However, it’s the first dipping of a toe that displays true obedience; a true desire to reset. They were willing to step in, trusting the Lord would make a way even as the water flowed.
Think and pray
Are you standing in front of a raging river when it comes to the rhythms of your life? Does it feel like there’s no way the water will part to allow you to pass through? Maybe it’s time to dip your toe.
Lord, help me to trust You for the strength to take even small steps in what I know is right – what brings me closer to You. Meet me in my timid steps of obedience and give me the grace to trust You more. Amen.
Samantha Decker is a book lover, coffee-connoisseur, wife, mom of boys, writer, and above all, a follower of Jesus. She and her husband, Dustin, live in Oklahoma City and serve at Quail Springs Baptist Church. You can connect with Samantha on Instagram or through her newsletter at samanthadeckerwrites.com.