By Mike Riley

Yes….I think perhaps I will do better this time around. I have learned from my past mistakes and surely I won’t repeat the same ones again! Right?

I don’t want to repeat my failures. But then again, without failures how would I learn? God lets us trip on our own feet. We only learn when we fall. The problem of course, is not the falling. It’s picking ourselves up, taking the worse of failures and making them the stories of our life. God teaches us through our trials. That includes all those miserable mistakes of the past. The “should have done ones” and the “how stupid can I get” ones.

get ready to cross the Jordan into the land I am about to give….I will give you every place you set your foot, as I promised Moses….as I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave or forsake you. Be strong and courageous….“ (Joshua 1:2-3;5-6 NIV).

The above passage gives us insight into God’s protective care of his people Israel. Moses had died and his successor was Joshua. He was new at his job but had successfully completed an “apprenticeship” under Moses. He wandered in the wilderness with the others for forty years. The people had refused to obey the Lord’s direction of taking the land. The old ones now had died. There is a new crew on board. They had an inspired new commander whose confidence in the Lord lead them to believe that taking this land was possible and it could be done. God was now in charge and Joshua was His general.

So how does this apply to us?                 The New Year spreads out before us as uncharted territory. Soon we will cross our Jordan River as when the Israelites stepped onto a new land. I have put my past mistakes behind me and now I am ready for the challenges that the Lord is giving me.

We could say….”Get ready to cross into the New Year which I am about to give you.” I will give you every place where you set your foot!”

Got that? God is about to give us the next twelve months. He will give us every place we set our foot…. that is, He will give us opportunities in our “new land” that we have never had before.

But here’s the catch.                               We must take them. God-blessed opportunities do not become ours until we take them. The land of Canaan was promised to the Israelites but they had to step out and claim them in faith and that God was now leading them. He knew the way.

I believe that God has great things in store for us during the coming year. He will open doors and clear paths. He will nudge us, this way and that.

and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21 ASV).

What does this mean?                            Wherever God leads, whatever opportunities He places in our path….step into them. He is working. As Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Join me in thanking the Lord for all that He has done this past year, and all that He will do in the next. I’m more than ready to step out into all the God-blessed opportunities that He will place in my path in this exciting New Year that is fast approaching.

Are you ready?                —Barbara Hyland, guest writer