Summary: Focus on doing God's will and leave the exalting to Him. Stay teachable regardless of how much you know. Our significance comes from God, not from this world.
Josh 3:7, 4:14 God Exalts the Humble ES 22 Feb 15 1410
Today, I want to talk about humility and how I achieved it!
• I wonder if this is even possible. The moment I thought about it, I might just have lost it.
• Man loves to exalt themselves. In the Scriptures, we see a different picture - God exalts man.
Two verses stand out to me in Joshua 3 and 4, as I was thinking through:
• Josh 3:7 “And the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.”
• That was prior to the crossing. And after the crossing, the Scripture emphasized it again: Josh 4:14 “That day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses.”
God exalted Joshua. Joshua didn’t promote himself.
• He needed the authority and the mandate to lead, especially so when taking over from the spiritual giant like Moses.
• Most leaders would be tempted to do something to prove themselves.
• They wanted people to know that they can do the job, if not better, then just as well as the predecessor.
But it turns out that Joshua need not have to worry about that. God takes care of his reputation, so to speak. God gave him the recognition he needed.
• God does not give us the reputation we WANT; He give us the recognition we NEED, to do the work He has called us.
• God will enable us and exalt us to the position we need, in order to accomplish His purposes.
Do not crave for the status you want; seek to do the will of God and God will grant you the recognition you need.
• We see that in the life of Moses, David, Daniel, Esther, Paul… When God calls, He enables and He exalts His servants to the position they need to be.
• 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”
FOCUS ON DOING GOD’S WILL AND LEAVE THE EXALTING TO HIM
What Joshua needs to be concerned about is to submit to God and His ways, to obey Him and finish the task He was called Israel to do.
• This sounds simple enough but it is the toughest thing for most leaders.
• The higher up we are in the echelon, the greater the temptation to believe in your own intelligence and capabilities.
• This is quite inevitable when you have greater authority and power. You want to prove something.
Joshua demonstrated a different heart. He submit to God’s way.
• He was the commander of the army. Everyone looks up to him.
• Yet he was prepared to entertain God’s unconventional way of crossing the river, and the never-heard-of offensive against Jericho.
• Both would sound ridiculous to any military man, not to mention that he has to give such instructions to his men.
And notice what happened when they drew near to Jericho.
• Josh 5:13-14 “Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"
• 14"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"
Imagine this, the commander of the army asking a higher Command – “What’s your order? What’s the command for me?”
• And he called himself servant! Servant of _____? Yes, the most High God!
• That’s Joshua. He understands his position before God. As the Commander of the army and the leader of Israel, he is but a servant of God!
• This is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength.
Humility is a sign of strength. It expresses itself in submission to God.
• Ps 25:9 “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.”
• One cannot submit to God without humility. Don’t let SELF gets in the way.
Joshua may now be the one who rules but he knows who rules him. He may be the leader of the nation, but he recognises the Lord of Israel.
• He may be in absolute command of the army, and no one above him, but he listens to a higher Command.
• You might have heard this famous quote by Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."