The time has come for you to lead. (Joshua 1:2)
I noted the date in my Bible margin by this verse one day. Recently I was surprised to realize that three years had passed since then!
I’d always seen myself as “second in command” – a pretty good assistant. That’s how I’d functioned in many roles during my lifetime. But in 2015, I knew that God was saying to me, the time has come for you to lead. Life was changing, and I was turning a corner.
Further down in the chapter, verses 8 & 9 have inspired countless Christ-followers:
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
“You will prosper and succeed in all you do”! In recent years this message is proclaimed far and wide: “God has a plan for your life! … His plan is to prosper and not harm you … God is able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think …
Our faith is built up. We are beloved daughters of the Most High! He calls us by name!
This is all precious truth. We are loved!
But there’s another angle here to note.
The time has come for you to lead these people … into the land I’m giving them.
God is saying, “Joshua, there’s a task to be done. – and I’m assigning you to do it. The people need to be led into the Promised Land.”
It’s not all about me. God is saying to His children today, “There’s a task to be done, – and I’m assigning you to do it.”
Maybe those children need excellent teaching from someone who loves them desperately. Maybe my MP needs to hear a supportive respectful message about a current social issue. Maybe that young lady needs some mentoring from me, because God has specially prepared me for this. Maybe the refugee settlement team at my church needs leadership, etc, etc.
Joshua wasn’t promised success for his sake alone. Rather God was commissioning him to partner with Him (!) in a powerful task needing to be accomplished.
Joshua’s response is what ours must be: “Yes Lord…. but only if…”
- You stay with us along the way, … and if
- You go ahead preparing circumstances ahead of time,… and if
- You provide the daily needs like strength, wisdom, courage, teammates,
I think Joshua accepted this assignment, because he understood God’s amazing planning. He looked back and clearly saw how his past prepared him for this work.
As we continue reading through the Book of Joshua, there are many many lessons for today’s leaders: such as, persistence, faith for the impossible, recovery from failure, the importance of colleagues like Caleb, and more.
Friends, what task is God commissioning you to do with Him?