“Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.”
I can remember times when my children would slip on a pair of my shoes and attempt to walk around the house. Their little feet were so small, and the shoes so large, that not only did they look ridiculous, but it made the simple task of walking from one side of the room to the next, almost impossible. Suffice it to say, attempting to fill someone else’s shoes is often a very difficult task. That concept would be greatly compounded as it relates to Joshua and Moses, of whom we are told,
“But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. “
I think it is important to keep in mind, God never intended for Joshua to fill the shoes of Moses. Instead, He wanted to do a new work and raise up a new leader. Moses had been uniquely trained and gifted for the ministry he was called to perform. His education in Egypt, coupled with his time in the wilderness, gave him a skill set that helped him effectively lead the people out of Egypt, and through the wilderness. While at the same time, he established the foundation for a new nation. Joshua, on the other hand, would be called to an entirely different area of ministry, and would need a whole new array of giftings. Joshua was called to lead the people into the land, drive out the enemy, and establish Israel in their new homeland. More than anything else, Joshua would need to be able to discern the voice of God, for a game plan for victory. The training for this took place years before when he chose to make the tent of meeting his home. Early on in the wilderness journey, we read that Joshua was the assistant of Moses, and he never left the tent of meeting. His training for leadership was found in meeting with the Lord, learning to discern His voice, and follow His leading.
As time moves forward, men and women of God will pass on. In their place, we will find vast ministry opportunities. Instead of lamenting the loss of a leader, we should be seeking, in every way possible, to become a person whom God can use to carry on the work of the Lord. Perhaps it is time to follow the example of Joshua and begin to set up a meeting place where you daily spend time God, and learn His Word, His ways, and his voice.