Posted by: missionventureministries | September 20, 2018

EQUIPPED TO SERVE GOD – Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.” (Joshua 1:1-2)

Here we see God encouraging Joshua in his new role as leader of Israel. These verses lay out a plan for the success of Joshua and the Israelites in taking over the Promised Land and thriving there. 

As we see, God clearly called Joshua into this leadership position.   

Joshua was one of only two men from the older generation of Israelites still alive forty years after Israel’s departure from Egypt (Numbers 14:29-30; Deuteronomy 1:34-38). During those forty years he had gained much valuable experience as Moses’ assistant.  

In the early days of the journey Joshua served as a military commander, defending his people against the Amalekites, who attacked the weak and infirm at the rear of Israel’s ranks (Exodus 17:8-16; Deuteronomy 25:17-19). When Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the commandments of God, Joshua accompanied him part way and was not involved in the sin of worshipping the golden calf (Exodus 24:13; 32:17). Joshua was one of the twelve who explored the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:8); he and Caleb were the only two of the twelve to give a positive report and resist the people’s demands to appoint a new leader and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-9). And at the end of the forty years in the desert, God chose him as Moses’ successor (Numbers 27:18-23). 

As we see, by the time the Israelites reached the banks of the Jordan, Joshua had learned some important lessons. And likewise, when God chooses us for a task, He gives us the experiences we will need in order to carry it out; and these experiences teach us valuable lessons. 

  • Without God’s presence, Joshua would not be able to succeed and neither will we.
  • In the protective environment of God’s presence, Joshua could be “strong and courageous” as can we.
  • By obeying God’s word, the Israelites could enjoy the full measure of blessing that God intended for them, and so can we.
  • To carry out God’s commandments, the Israelites would need to study them, commit them to memory, and apply them, as we should.

These verses provide valuable instruction for God’s people throughout the ages. They remind us that God has delivered us from bondage from sin and made us His servants. He has given us the gift of salvation and assigned a mission for us to accomplish (Matthew 28:19-20), providing us with experiences that will help us carry out our parts of that mission. Along the way, we will have “rivers” to cross; however, because God is with us, we can walk across those rivers with courage and live victoriously, focusing our eyes on Him and the purpose He has for His eternal kingdom. God tells Joshua several times to be strong and courageous. 

If God has called us to lead, it means that He has also given us courage and strength to lead. When God calls us into leadership, He makes us a promise just like He made to Joshua.  He promises to give us everything we need to be successful and to accomplish His will.   

We need to understand that the right way to lead is to lead by faith.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Then Hebrews 11:6 shows us the importance of faith with this truth, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.” 

Faith is never a risk and certainly, it is not a leap into the unknown. Faith is believing in the promises of God, and it is in this assurance that we gain courage and strength. 

The Lord spelled out what Joshua must do in order to succeed at bringing the people into the Promised Land: “Be careful to do according to all that is written in it” (v. 8). Obedience is of utmost importance because God’s methods won’t always be understood until after there is total obedience.  

When the people approached Jericho, the Lord gave Joshua a very strange command; march around the city once a day for six days, then seven times on the seventh day. Then shout and the walls will fall down (Joshua 6:3-5).  

If Joshua had not followed God’s directions, he would not have succeeded. Like Joshua, we must trust the Lord and courageously obey no matter what He may require of us. He will never give us an abundance of tasks where we have no time to meditate on His Word; and as we focus on Him and move forward in obedience, we will be equipped for everything that He calls us to do.  

But make sure that you ask for and are following the Lord’s leading. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,…” (James 1:5–6). And make sure that you are asking in the right spirit. Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths (Psalm 25:4), and He will.  

Make sure your motives are above reproach and follow Joshua’s lead: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).

Remembering to: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8-9).

 

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