“Now, stay strong and steady. Obediently do everything written in the Book of The Revelation of Moses-don’t miss a detail. Don ‘t get mixed up with the nations that are still around. Don’t so much as speak the names of their gods or swear by them. And by all means don’t worship or pray to them. Hold tight to God, your God, just as you’ve done up to now. God has driven out superpower nations before you, and up to now, no one has been able to stand up to you. Think of it-one of you single-handedly, putting a thousand on the run! Because GOD IS GOD, your God. Because he fights for you, just as he promised you. Joshua 23:8-10 The Message
I like the honesty of a recent transport posted on Facebook seeking volunteer drivers to take a dog to a foster home. All posts tell how the dog may be transported and its personal characteristics. Some posts inform you whether the dog is to be crated or securely tethered. It passes along the information of who it gets along with like cats, other dogs, etc. and they all remind you to double leash and use slip leads.
This post was for a young hound and stated no under the leash trained category. In the section reminding you to double leash and use slip leads when transferring from and to the car, it said, “Double leash and hold on tight!” It was a touch of humor but the total truth.
Our dogs are leash trained but you still have to hold on tight. I’ve found myself flat on my face bleeding from many a walk where an unannounced squirrel has decided to cross our path when I was unprepared. I usually have a tight hold on the leash and the walk is anything but relaxing.
My walk with God mirrors the same type of journey. I hold on tightly and don’t enjoy the time we spend together. The special moments are lost in the long haul to get to my final destination. Instead of relaxing in the freedom and grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, I’m stressed out worrying that at any minute I might make the wrong choice and his wrath will be rained down from heaven. I don’t enjoy those unexpected interruptions and feel I must be prepared for every circumstance.
God doesn’t work that way. In modern terms he would have announced to many of our bible heroes saying, “Hold on tight!”. Abraham had to hold on tight for the journey of a lifetime (Genesis 12-25). God said he would be blessed. He was called to leave home and go to an unknown land. He had to wait years for his promised son and then was told to offer him as a sacrifice.
Joseph had to hold on tight (Genesis 37-50). The dreamer dreamed he was destined for great things and ended up betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. He kept rising to the top only to be thrown back into prison thinking he was forgotten. Finally, he was elevated to the second highest in command in Egypt and all his dreams fulfilled.
Elijah had held on tight and was God’s man in the spotlight (I Kings 17-19, II Kings 1-2). He was taken up to heaven in a blazing, fiery chariot. Moses survived the baby massacre (his story starts in Exodus 2) and was raised in Pharoah’s house. After murdering an Egyptian, he was met by a talking, burning bush and turned into the tour guide and leader of all the Israelites on their very long exodus to the Promised Land.
When you start out with God it is always a “hold on tight” journey. The twists and turns, the ups and downs, the bends in the road that are shaded by dense forests and lit up by intense heat are not always easy. You can trust that God is in control and hold on tight to his hand. It’ll be the ride of your life with a truly worthwhile destination.