Some of the stories in the Old Testament are just astouding. They make you take a second look like, “Did that really happen?!” Yes, it did!!
Joshua 1 is one of those passages. Imagine it—Moses, the revered, grand and great leader of Israel, the Deliverer, the Friend of God, has passed on and no one knows where he’s buried. The younger apprentice Joshua is thrust into the forefront with great challenges ahead of the nation of Israel and few allies. What to do!?
I can imagine Joshua was nervous and insecure. He had experienced victories before but never as the man. There’s something different about performing under a new set of expectations. There’s something different about being the guy in charge. All of a sudden there are unspoken expectations about how you’re supposed to behave and what you’re supposed to know and who you’re supposed to be. People relate to you differently and it’s not all honor for your position—some folks think you can give them something they want.
Joshua’s transition also had several positives. His predecessor Moses had also been his mentor. Joshua had served alongside Moses for many years and been battle-tested and affirmed by Moses in front of all the people. Moses had left a clear plan of succession such that the people expected him to take over the leadership role from Moses. But perhaps the most important aspect of his succession was that the Lord had called and equipped him for the context that the Lord put him in.
Called — Taking a leadership post in service to the Lord is such a holy and difficult task that no one should do it presumptuously. That is to say, you shouldn’t appoint yourself where God has not appointed you. Desiring a leadership position is a good thing but the path to fulfilling that desire should be one paved by God. It may turn out that God has an altogether different path in mind for you anyway? Be open to his calling in your life.
How do you know what God is calling you to? Well, like Elijah, it probably won’t come in a violent windstorm, earthquake or fire, it may not come in a dream in the night or a vision by day, but it will come.
Be still inside. Let your anxious thoughts be ceased in the wonder of God and His presence. As you lose yourself in worship (not just the congregational singing kind, but the lifestyle characterized by a conscious focus on God), you will find your identity (you are a son of God) and your purpose (to know God and to make Him known) and your calling (this is your specific way of expressing the identity and purpose God has for you).
Equipped — Like a good leader, God equips us with what we need for the journey and assignment he has for us. Consider these passages that reveal just what Joshua needed most:
- Wisdom: Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom
- Power: Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.
- Authority: No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.
- Divine Companionship: Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
- A Strategy: Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
- A Mindset: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night,
- A Principle to Apply: be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
- A Final Word: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Friend, if God has called you, He has equipped you. Take comfort in this fact and put your confidence in Him.
A PRAYER: Lord, I thank You that You have given me everything I need to fulfill the assignment before me. The giants are opposing me. Those who should have my back question my ability to lead. There are so many missing pieces between where I am now and where I believe you want to take me. Yet, you have called me and I am equipped. Lead me. Stay with me. Help me. Father, I know that You love me and work in all things for my good. Jesus, all authority is Your’s and I thank You that You lead me in triumph. Holy Spirit, you comfort me in every distress and are ever-present with me. Therefore, my heart will trust in the Lord..