God’s been speaking to me a lot lately about “new territory” and what that phrase looks like in almost every aspect of my life.
I’m a very visual person, so when I hear the phrase “new territory,” I immediately imagine Lewis and Clark making their westward journey across the country; crossing rivers, climbing mountains, and pioneering a new frontier for those early settlers of America.
I can almost feel the wind as I imagine myself there with them, looking out over the hills and seeing the bison, the eagles and the mustangs of the American west.
It’s a gorgeous picture in my mind, and every one of us would like our life to look like that picture, but the reality of it is so much more that what the pretty picture looks like. The fact is, Lewis and Clark may have seen great beauty on their glorious adventure, but they also saw immense hardships. To name a few:
- People of their own party betrayed them
- They encountered challenges with Native American tribes
- They got lost
- Their canoes flipped over, dumping supplies into the river
- A party member got sick and died
- They got chased by a Grizzly bear (This one alone would be plenty adventure for me)
New territory can mean so many different things to us these days: a new job, having a child, moving to a new city, starting a business, starting something new, or even simply spiritual or emotional growth. Everyone wants to come to some cool new territory in their lives, but few are willing to fight the battles and face the fears it takes to get there.
It reminds me so much of when the Israelites entered the Promised Land. This was the land God had given to them, told them they were to inhabit, and yet they still had to fight for it. The book of Joshua recounts a bit of the story as God encourages Joshua, then Joshua responds.
““Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’ ””
Here are 3 things I felt God has spoken to me on how to enter new territory:
1. BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS - There is no reason to fear the unknown when God is with you.
2. HOLD ON TO GOD’S WORD - The time you have with God in secret is your lifeline. You will fail without it.
3. PREPARE FOR GROWTH - Basically allow yourself to be stretched. It’s uncomfortable. Let me share an encouragement from Isaiah with you:
““Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”
So here’s to the new things in your life, and in mine.
What are the new things you're experiencing? Comment below!