Do you sometimes feel like this broken down barn – like your usefulness is gone? Do you feel like you somehow managed to screw up the design for your life and ended up with a saggy, moldy roof? Do you think God had a plan for you and you missed it?
The children of Israel really did miss God’s boat. They refused to go into the Promised Land. Once they were there, they continued to make mistakes. God’s response? God didn’t change his plan, He just delayed it and worked their mistakes into His plan.
God worked with the People of Israel until they were ready to do what they were called to do. He molded and shaped them, reworked their understanding of Him and themselves, until they were ready to walk into the Promised Land.
Once they were in the Promised Land, they discovered a few things:
1. God’s provision changed. In the desert, He always provided by giving manna. In the new land, they ate from the fruit of the land. I imagine at first this was a little sparse given that they hadn’t yet taken enough land to support the size of nation they had become.
2. God’s discipline was complete. He forced them to keep their focus on Him. When Achan disobeyed and took plunder from Jericho, the whole nation suffered and people died. God plays for keeps, and He is very serious about helping us attain our goals, but he demands our entire focus.
3. When they made an honest mistake, God used it for their benefit. The people of Gibeon tricked them. Joshua and the leaders messed up and followed their senses instead of asking for God’s input. They really messed up, but it wasn’t in rebellion, it was in stupidity. God used this blunder to bring five kings against Israel. At the end of the battle, Israel had continued the campaign and taken a huge part of the territory God had given them.
4. Adversity is often God getting ready to increase your territory. With the exception of Jericho and Ai, the battles that Israel fought were started when other nations came against them. They had a choice – fight for fright. They fought, obeyed God, and their territory increased.
God won’t leave you with a moldy saggy roof unless that’s what you really want. If you want to fulfill the purpose He created you for, He will make a way. He is the master of work arounds and new plans. He makes mistakes into new victories. If you are missing a support beam or two, He will build you a new one.