I am continuing the God @ Work Series, and the question I have for you is, "Are you ready to step into the promises of God?" The call of Joshua was to lead the children of Israel out of the wildernesses into the Promised Land. My name is also Joshua, and I am here to tell you, "Let's Get Ready, Get Set, and Let's Go!"
The children of Israel had been on a 40-year journey out of slavery in Egypt. They went through test after test to work out the effects of slavery in the way they thought. If we have been hurt and disappointed, we develop trust issues. The bi-product of being wounded is murmuring, complaining, and blaming. God used each test to prove that He is faithful and worthy of their faith and trust.
When the children of Israel finally got to Canaan, twelve spies were sent into the land. After they came back, ten spies gave a fearful report while Joshua & Caleb gave a faith-filled message. The people chose to walk in fear and not trust God to defeat the giants in the land and as a result, entering the promised land went on hold until the first generation of the children of Israel died out.
Stepping into some of God's promises may be on hold not from our lack of readiness but because of the unprepared people around us. What should we do during the waiting period? Joshua served Moses as his assistant. Joshua deepened his relationship with God.
The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but Nun's young aide, Joshua's son, did not leave the tent. Exodus 33:11
We prepare for God's call by first learning to serve others faithfully. Secondly, we must deepen our walk with God, where we learn to discern His voice so we can know His will and obey.
In Deuteronomy 31, Joshua takes Moses' place. Moses prepares Joshua by telling him to "Be Strong and Courageous, not afraid, for it is the Lord our God who goes with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you."
The key to being ready is to be close to the Lord. The bible says if we draw near to the Lord, He draws near to us. The nearer we are to the Lord, the more we carry His strength. Leadership is a huge responsibility; it is natural to be afraid; that is why our strength comes from God; fear is reasonable when it causes us to turn to God.
In Joshua 1, the Lord speaks to Joshua to prepare the people to cross over and take the promised land. The Lord then tells Joshua "to be strong and courageous, not afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Being strong was repeated three times to stress the importance; it was spoken as command the final time.
Joshua 1:8 is my life verse and the key to the success of Joshua. "This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then, you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do." We can only obey God to the degree that we know His Word. The bible has the answer to every problem in the world. Leaders are problem solvers. People will only follow someone to the point that they can help them. We cannot think we can lead well if we don't know God's will, found in His Word.
We as leaders have no excuse if we are weak in leadership; it's because we are disobedient to the command "be strong in the Lord." If we are not first going before the Lord, we will not be ready to lead them when we go before the people. When Joshua was prepared, he went and prepared the people. The result was they said we would obey you just as we obeyed Moses.
In Joshua chapter three, verse five, Joshua tells the people, "consecrate yourselves, because the Lord will do wonders among you tomorrow." The most important aspect of being ready is in our hearts. We may be prepared with knowledge, numbers, and strength, but we will fail without our hearts consecrated to God. We must allow the Lord to search our hearts to ensure that our motives are pure to be set in the right place. We cannot expect to move ahead if we have things in our past that need surrendered.
In Joshua 6:7, He said to the people, "Move forward ……. Joshua had received very unusual instructions to take the city of Jericho, where they marched for six days in silence, and the seventh day they shouted. The walls of the town supernaturally came down. There is wisdom in knowing when to be silent and when to shout. In this battle, the children of Israel were victorious, and they took ground.
In Joshua 7, the Israelites were defeated at Ai. Joshua listened to the people and did not acknowledge God. The children of Israel were confident because they outnumbered the people of Ai, but their confidence was not in God, but themselves, and they lost, and Joshua learned a critical lesson.
Our drive can lead us to proceed ahead of God. We must never assume that anything is God unless we know He is leading us for a fact. To assume is one of the biggest causes of failure. The promise is clear if we seek God, He will respond. If we are unsure of direction, we must halt until God clarifies it.
Let's be ready by serving those God has put before us, deepening our relationship with God, and growing in the knowledge of His Word. Let's beset by consecrating our hearts to God. Let's go by receiving strategy from the Lord, obeying it, not leaning on our assumptions while putting all our confidence in the Lord.