From The Heart

Publish date: 03/04/2012

And Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong, courageous, and firm, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to possess it. 8 It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit – depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].  
Deuteronomy 31:7-8 AMP

By the end of his life, Moses had brought the people as far as he could, and it was time for new leadership – the baton was being passed. Joshua was God’s choice to take over from Moses. God gave Joshua his mission: to finish what Moses started. Joshua wasn’t better or worse than Moses – but he was God’s choice for the task that remained to be done at that time. Before Moses died, he publicly installed Joshua as his successor at the Lord’s direction, so there could be a smooth transition, with no arguments from the people later. Most of the time, if people are given their own choice of leadership, they will choose by looking at their appearance – the way they look or the way they present themselves. God chooses based on the heart! God’s choice doesn’t always look to man like the best choice, but it IS! We should not be too quick to judge anyone after the flesh – from a human point of view – especially under the New Covenant. 2 Corinthians 5:16 AMP says, “Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh].” God does not call a person because of their ability alone, but He calls them because they make themselves available to Him, to obey and follow Him!

Joshua, not only had to face giants, but he also had to convince the Israelites to follow his leadership even as he followed God’s orders. The secret was in meditating in God’s word day and night and doing only what the Lord instructed him to do. God promised Joshua that if he implicitly obeyed Him, he would be successful in everything that he did! If God calls us to do something and if we worry too much about the opinion of other people, then we will choose our path based on what the people want rather than on what God wants. The Bible says that the fear of man is a trap of the enemy. If we choose to please people and do what we think will make them happy or what will cause the least amount of “waves”, then we cannot and will not please God!

Paul says this about when the Lord initially called Him: “But when it was the good pleasure of the One who set me apart before I was born and called me by His grace to give me an inward revelation of His Son in order that I might proclaim Him as glad tidings among the Gentiles, immediately I did not put myself in communication with flesh and blood for the purpose of consultation; neither did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and again returned to Damascus.” (Galatians 1:15-17 Wuest). It is fine and right to have certain godly people who offer godly counsel for your life, but when God clearly speaks to you, then stop talking and go and do what He’s told you to do! Asking everyone else for their opinion is a distraction, and waiting for their approval is a time-waster. We must focus on the Lord and what He’s called us to do and just get on with it. Leave the rest to the Lord to take care of. God knows what He’s doing – just trust Him and do what He says. It takes courage to obey God and to do it in spite of other people’s opinions!

Again Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 AMP, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was making it grow and [He] gave the increase. 7 So neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but [only] God Who makes it grow and become greater. 8 He who plants and he who waters are equal (one in aim, of the same importance and esteem), yet each shall receive his own reward (wages), according to his own labor.”  People are often tempted to compare their leaders with other leaders, either favorably or unfavorably; lifting one up even as they are putting the other down. It is human nature to compare and compete, but if you get hung up with comparisons and picking sides, then it will only result in strife and competition! This comparing and competing is a work of the flesh and betrays the carnality of those involved.

Romans 12:3 AMP says, “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.”  We must not have a too high estimation of ourselves OR a too low estimation of God and His ability in and through us! We are nothing without Him; but with and through Him, we can do all that He’s called us to do. We must appreciate each other for the gift that each of us is to the Body of Christ and also that we are each called to a different calling. If we will mind our own business, obey God for our own life, and get on with the task He has assigned to us, then God’s overall will shall be done in the end!