THE ‘I’S HAVE IT!
Lord, You are our ultimate leader.
Read JOSHUA 1:1–9
Joshua Installed as Leader
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
‘I will never leave you or forsake you’ (Heb 13:5, NRSV). Ponder the enormity and application of this statement for you and your walk with God.
How do you succeed a leader like Moses, whose spiritual and practical example is so impressive – and who is mentioned 11 times in a chapter about Joshua’s calling? Joshua must have felt a great weight of expectation and fear of failing to reach the heights Moses did. The same could be said today of many facing leadership challenges, and to that end we can take great hope in this affirmation of Joshua. God uses the name ‘Moses’ to reiterate the promises made to His people and to remind Joshua that there is and always will be only one true leader, God. He refers to Moses as ‘my servant’ (1, 2, 7), a clarion call to any who doubt that God chooses His leaders – that is their strength.
Joshua is not without immense skill and experience gained as Moses’ assistant, but this is attributive to God who is the enabler. God is clear: it is ‘I’ who ‘commanded you’ (9), ‘I’ who ‘will give you every place’ (3), ‘I’ who ‘will never leave or forsake you’ (5) and ‘I’ who ‘will be with you’, ‘As I was with Moses’ (5). Joshua understands that his strength and courage for the coming battles will be in walking with God, not through his own effectiveness. Obey the words of God, meditate on them, keep close to God – then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua, like Moses, will find that the fruit of ministry is through his relationship with God, not just man’s determination! What an incredible challenge and comfort to those who lead God’s people. We can but offer all we have and allow God to take it and magnify it for His purpose. He is the sovereign commander, and we remain His willing servants.
Where are you called to lead within your family, relationships, and church? How do you ensure that you are following God’s directive?
Lord, thank You for the confidence that arises within us in the knowledge that You are there, leading us forward.