After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ Joshua 1:1-4 (NLT)
Did this passage sound familiar to you? Have you ever been in a position where someone who was mentoring you was suddenly ‘out of the picture’ and not likely to return? This has happened to me several times over my career. I’ve had someone who’s primarily responsible for a given technology work with me for a period of time, and suddenly, for one reason or another, they’re no longer available. However, any story I could relate from personal experience pales in comparison to the task laid before Joshua.
Leading the people of Israel into the land promised for centuries was no small task. God promised Joshua he’d fulfill his promise made to Moses through Joshua. His footfall would determine the land of Israel.
Submission to Jesus in this life is much the same as Joshua’s submission, or surrender, to God. Surrender to God is paramount as we essentially do what Joshua was tasked to do: usher people into a new Kingdom. While Joshua’s task involved a huge group of people and occupying physical land, ours is to share God’s Kingdom with those around us. While this may seem an easy task, to some of us it can be difficult. Our culture has led us to believe sharing our Kingdom faith violates the rights of those who might hear it. But things are rarely this way. While there certainly are those who might be offended by words of God’s Kingdom, many more are willing to listen.
Again, surrendering ourselves to God brings a new life where we, like Joshua, participate in leading people to a new life in God’s Kingdom. Certainly, the drawing of people to the Kingdom is God’s task (John 12:32), but we’re able to provide the physical presence as the hands and feet of God in this life.
I love the ocean, especially the Pacific. It’s not the warmest seawater on the planet, so I found through trial and error the best way to begin to enjoy it is to just go ahead and jump in. This example fits here as well. I encourage you, when you pray, to ask God to bring you a soul to share with and the words to share. Their hearts will be prepared, as will you, and, like Joshua, you’ll be God’s instrument for his Kingdom!
By Rich Obrecht