Facing A Difficult Assignment From God
Contributed by Rick Johnson on Dec 1, 2000 (message contributor)
Summary: When God calls a leader He equips him to be successful in the task.
Joshua was facing the greatest crisis of his life. It was two-fold: (1) following Moses as the leader of the nation - 1:1, and (2) facing a great task in leading the people - 1:2-4. The former dealt with possible rejection and the latter with personal inadequacy.
God will stretch you in your calling, but He will likewise equip you though you may fear rejection and inadequacy. God’s call often causes one to be fearful. This is why he commands Joshua to be courageous three times (1:6,7, 9). Courage isn’t the absence of fear; that is being foolish. Courage is going on in spite of fear.
Chapter one has two divisions: God’s charge to Joshua (1:1-9) and Joshua’s charge to the people (1:10-18). Before you can ever lead others, God must be leading you.
Someone said, "Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks."
Since God’s plan requires courage you will have to depend upon him and face three issues if you would experience God’s best for your life.
1. Face it with God’s Call - 1:1-4.
God had clearly called Joshua (1:1b). He didn’t jockey for promotion - God placed him in this unique position.
"Joshua" means "Jehovah saves" and is the Hebrew form of "Jesus" (Acts 7:45).
God’s call was to accomplish three goals: lead the nation of Israel into the land, defeat the enemies in the land, and to divide their inheritance.
There is great courage in knowing God’s purpose for your life.
A. It is a call to service - 1:1c. Joshua’s leadership was prepared by his service. See Exodus 24:13; Exodus 33:11; Numbers 11:28. "Minister" has the idea of one who cares for small details. God’s call always involves a servant’s heart - Ephesians 6:21; Colossions 1:7; Colossions 4:7.
B. It is a call to specifics - 1:2-4. God gave Joshua the specific parameters of his task.
2. Face it with God’s encouragement - 1:5-6.
This was a tough assignment and God encouraged his heart as he faced it.
A. God encourages you with His presence - 1:5. He says "I will be with you". Cp. 1:9. Moses had this same promise given to him. See Exodus 3:12; 4:12.
B. God encourages you with His promise - 1:5b. He says "You can count on me".
3. Face it with God’s enablement - 1:7-9.
What God calls you to do He equips you to do. The key to lasting success is related to God’s Word (1:8).
There are two essentials one must adhere to concerning the Bible in order to be successful.
A. Meditation - 1:8. This is one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines and, yet, it is required by God. See Deut. 6:6; Psalm 119:97-100; Luke 9:44. Joshua was a busy man, but he was commanded to make this a priority in his schedule.
B. Application - 1:8. D.L. Moody said, "The Bible was not written for your information, but for your transformation". See James 1:22
Success is a byproduct of the above. Obedience and a heart-felt love for God and His Word are God’s ingredients for success for His children.
Joshua did these things and they worked! See Joshua 23:14.