Written by: Cody Phillips
As we enter new seasons of life, God presents us with new growth opportunities. Often, we don’t seize these opportunities. We tend to stay in our comfort zone and rely on what we are used to and what we can control. Our fear is rooted in the unknown.
We wonder, “What if I fail?” “What if I’m rejected?” We begin to doubt ourselves. We begin to doubt what God has called us to. Students face these doubts and fears every August and September. Every new school year is a new season. And doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses commissions Joshua to be the new leader over the Israelites: “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you” (The Message).
Following this charge, Joshua is to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land. Joshua had no knowledge of how to do this until he heard from God. The biggest challenge today’s students face isn’t hearing from God—but trusting and obeying what He says.
When faced with new seasons, students don’t know if they want to get out of their comfort zone. If a student wants God to transform her life, she need look no further than Joshua’s pattern.
- In Joshua 3:5, Joshua commanded the people to consecrate themselves. This may sound
strange to us, but to consecrate yourself simply means to fully dedicate yourself to what God
has promised you. In the case of our teens, God has given each student a calling and will
present each one with opportunities this school year to share the gospel.
- In Joshua 3:17, Joshua and the people of Israel do something CRAZY: They did what God
told them to do. They stepped out in faith believing God would provide. This is the hardest
step to take. Students can fall back onto the words in Deuteronomy 31:6: “[God] is right there
with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you” (The Message).
When students TRUST and OBEY, God will protect them as they step out of their comfort zone. God transforms His children as they step out in faith. As students go back to school, make sure they stay in the Word of God. Develop their spirits to hear His voice. Upon hearing His voice, He will call them to classrooms and classmates. Encourage them to trust and obey that calling.
Stepping out of their comfort zone and into the leading of the Holy Spirit will enable them to participate in God’s holy work on earth.