“And the Lord said to Moses: ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; . . .’”
There seems to be a simple pattern to the work of God: He chooses a man, fills him with His Spirit, and surrounds him with others. While the work is done through a man, it is always accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord. When Moses’ time on earth had run its course, the mantle was passed to another man. Out of the entire congregation of Israel, we read God chose Joshua, the son of Nun. I think it is worth considering why Joshua was selected.
First, we must consider the Sovereignty of God.
1Corinthians 12:11 states:
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
Each one of us has been uniquely designed, gifted, and called by God, to play a particular role in the body of Christ. Like the Apostle Paul, we should each seek the Lord and discover what He wants us to do.
Second, Joshua was selected because of his prior faithfulness. We were introduced to Joshua years before he was selected to lead the nation. In the early years, we read he was a soldier who lead Israel to victory against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:10). From this, it is clear God selects those for service, who are already serving. Jesus said when we are faithful with little, we will be given more (Luke 19:17). We also read that Joshua was a faithful assistant to Moses (Numbers 11:28). The New Testament equivalent to the term assistant, would be disciple. Like Timothy, Paul’s assistant, Joshua learned to serve the Lord by coming alongside Moses, the man of God.
Third, Joshua was a man who spent time getting to know the Lord. Since serving Jesus has a lot to do with representing Him to others, it is critical that we spend time getting to know Him better. Paul declared that his greatest desire was to know Christ in the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering (Philippians 3:10). To get to know Christ, Joshua did not depart from the Tabernacle (Exodus 33:11).
Joshua was also a man of great faith. When Moses selected men to spy out the land, Joshua was chosen. It is clear from the story, this selection had much to do with his great faith. Having spent time with Moses and the Lord, Joshua believed there was nothing too hard for God. He did not see the giants as an obstacle to the work of God, but as an opportunity for the Lord to show Himself strong on behalf of His people. Joshua even sought to instill this kind of faith in others. When the nation was filled with fear, Joshua referred to the Canaanites as food laid out for Israel to devour (Numbers 13).
As we await Christ’s return, let’s be men and women fit for the Master’s use. Take some time to sit before the Lord to determine how He wants to use you in the body of Christ. Keep in mind, what you do for Him today, has an impact on eternity, and prepares you for that which He will call you to in the future.