Summary: God calls each of us to be leaders in His Kingdom. He equips us, enables us and then, by following the example of Joshua, helps us to accomplish good success.
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Pastor James May
BE STRONG & COURAGEOUS
This story from the life of Joshua gives us the perfect picture of the commitment we must have if we are to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God. It also lets us know why we so often fail to accomplish those great things.
1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
Regardless of who we are, there will come a time when we must step out in faith and walk with God, without anyone there to hold our hand. Ultimately, the life that we live before God is between our own heart and the heart of God. No one else can answer for our actions and no one else can remove the consequences of those actions.
Joshua had lost his mentor. Until this time Joshua had been a follower more than a leader. It was easier to lead when Moses was there to help answer the tough questions. It is always easy to make decisions, to correct problems or say what needs to be done if you aren’t involved in the front lines of the fight. In the thick of the battle though, it isn’t so easy to see or make those quick decisions when you come to realize that every word you speak, every action you take and every command you give can mean the difference between life and death. In the church, this is even more damaging when you realize that the decision doesn’t mean just life on earth but can cause the eternal loss of a soul.
There is a statement that I read once that said this, “When in charge, ponder. When in trouble, delegate. When in doubt, mumble.”
That little statement contains so much truth. A leader never wants to appear as indecisive or admit that he doesn’t know the answer. We will sit and think about a situation for a long time, hoping that it will solve itself in the meantime. We get in trouble for either making a decision too quickly without knowing all the facts and then we try to put the blame on anything but our own inadequacies. The last portion of that saying is the truest of all. If we don’t know what to do or we don’t have an answer, we say anything but not loud enough to sound like we are giving instructions. We just mumble and let those around us work it out the best way they can.
Then, if and when it comes out right, we love to jump up, take the recognition and claim that we solved the problem. God help us when we don’t have the courage to say those words that every man finds nearly impossible to say when asked a question, “I DON’T KNOW THE ANWER!”
Joshua found himself alone with God and responsible for the fulfillment of the destiny of the nation of Israel that stood before him. God’s command and promise of a land that they would occupy as their own still stood true and yet Joshua knew the fickle nature of the Jews.
In his own heart Joshua may have felt a lot like the baby whale who heard his mother say, "When you get to the top and start letting off steam, that’s the time you’re most apt to be harpooned."
This nation of people had failed in their first attempt to obey God and possess the land that God had promised and now they were here for their second opportunity to obey. Joshua knew that this time, it was do or die, because he would never survive another 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. Israel had to go over Jordan and conquer Canaan or there would most likely never be an Israel again and God would have to raise up another people to call His own.