When I was growing up, my mom and my Mamaw sewed many of their own clothes. Dresses, pant suits, aprons ... whatever they needed they could sew. They would trade patterns with friends and other family members who also sewed. As you can imagine, every person who used the same pattern got the same dress. Maybe a different color or a different size, but the dress was the same. Even today, if we were to pull out those patterns from the cedar chest, pin them to material, cut them out, and then sew the pieces together, we would get the same dress. Patterns always produce similar results.
As we read the wilderness journey of Israel in Exodus through Deuteronomy, we begin to notice patterns in their lives that held them back from inheriting the Promised Land. We heard in Sunday's message that old patterns of grumbling, fear, doubt, negativity, and living in the past kept Israel wandering the wilderness for forty years. Take some time and read Numbers 13-14. Make some notes in your journal about key findings you uncover. Take your time and meditate on the scripture, asking God to show you some truths that will help you find nourishment over the next couple of days.
Now that you have made some notes from Numbers 13 and 14, do the same thing for Joshua 1. List some common phrases and ideas you discover.
As you consider both of these passages, take some time for personal inquiry, recognizing that between the two passages, God's promises remained the same. God's person (Joshua/Moses) changed physically but had the same spiritual determination. The difference between the two passages is that God's people (Promised Land Israel) in Joshua 1 were physically and spiritually different. They were ready to get the taste of disobedience out of their mouth. To remove this taste, some old patterns had to break. For you to move forward in your walk with Christ, some old patterns need to break as well.
Take some time as you ask yourself key questions about old patterns to make notes about patterns that keep you on the wrong side of the Jordan, wandering in the wilderness. What tendencies and cycles block you from advancing in your blessing? Write these in your journal, and then spend time praying over them, asking God for the wisdom and strength to break these patterns this week as you consider your role in your own spiritual journey, in spreading the gospel, and in Compassion 329.