Entering In

Joshua 3:4
“. . . that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”

Sometimes, our Christian life takes us down roads we have not traveled before. The Lord desires to take us to new heights in our relationship with Him, and to use us for the furtherance of His Kingdom. Joshua’s leadership, as he takes Israel across the Jordan, illustrates some very important principles on how to follow the Lord.

Joshua 3:5
“Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

“Sanctify” means to set apart. It carries the idea of being set apart from sin, and to the Lord. Sanctification happens when a person recognizes they belong to God, and they surrender to His ways. Their sanctification involved faith. They were to give themselves to the Lord now, trusting He wanted to accomplish something, through them in the future. Often, we remain unprepared for the day of battle, because we neglect to set ourselves apart to the Lord today.

Joshua 3:16
“. . . the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam . . .”

Since the waters stopped a great distance north of the camp of Israel, it appeared that nothing happened when the priests put their feet in the Jordan . God promised the river would part, yet the waters seemed to remain unchanged. However, as time moved forward, they would see that God kept His promise. Many times, we fail to see what the Lord is doing until we keep moving forward, as He commands.

Joshua 4:10
“So the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished… and the people hurried and crossed over.”

Hundreds of thousands of Israelites crossed the river that day. This process would have taken hours. Meanwhile, four men stood holding a large, heavy wooden box. The initial excitement of carrying the Ark, and watching the waters subside, would soon be replaced with pain, as their shoulders, arms and legs began to ache. As hour followed hour, these men continued to hold up the Ark. They would learn ministry is not as glamorous as it sometimes appears. Often, we fail to see results because we fail to be steadfast and immovable in the work of the Lord.

Joshua 4:20
“And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.”

Their first act in the Promised Land, was to make a crude altar with the stones they removed from the Jordan. This altar was not designed for sacrifice, but as a simple reminder of what the Lord had done. Future victories would be ensured by remembering what God had done in the past. If God could part a river, what obstacle would be to much for the people of God. It is good to remember what the Lord has done for us, and how He has worked in our lives. The only danger is that we become people who live in the past. Take what God has done in the past as motivation for how He wants to work in your life today.

Pastor Jim

 

Big Shoes

Deuteronomy 34:9
“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, 

 

Deuteronomy 34:10-12

“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. 

 

Pastor Jim