“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
~Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Joshua is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. He was bold, he was enthusiastic about God, and almost always saw the glass as half full. He was my kind of guy. The type of person I could see myself being friends with. Let’s find out who he was and what God commissioned him to do!
The first time we meet Joshua in Scripture is when he came back from the land of giants with his friend Caleb. Caleb said, “We can take those guys, no problem!” That’s me paraphrasing it, of course! There were 12 spies that went out and Joshua was one of two who came back believing they could go forward and overtake the land. (Read Numbers 13:26-33)
Then we see Joshua is mentioned again a little later for the condition of his heart.
“Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob– not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord, wholeheartedly.”
~Numbers 32:11-12 (NIV)
Wow, this is a big deal! Everyone, except Caleb, that Joshua knew around him would not enter the Promise Land. God had even taken that dream away from Moses, Joshua’s mentor. However, Joshua would enter the Promise Land because he remained steadfast and his heart was set on the goal ahead. He did not lose sight of what God had for him. His whole heart was dedicated to God’s purpose. Not a piece of his heart, not some of his heart, not just a little bit, but all of his heart was dedicated to God’s purpose. Can you say that you are wholeheartedly given over to God’s purpose for your life? If not, what’s stopping you?
At the end of Deuteronomy, we see that Moses takes a look at the Promise Land. His foot will never take a step on it, but he sees it from afar. This is in Deuteronomy 34. Before, he gave his final breath, he gave his blessing to Joshua.
“Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.”
~Deuteronomy 34:9 (NIV)
After 40 years of wandering the desert, it was now time for the Israelites to enter the Promise Land. Can you imagine what that must have felt like? I mean 40 years is a long time. But now was the time to enter the land God had given to their fore fathers. They would proceed without the man who led them out of their captivity, without any of their older ancestors, knowing they had new generations following God’s way, and a new leader to lead them into the Promise Land. They were not the same people who left Egypt. God had prepared them for this moment in time. It was time to move forward!
“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.”
~Joshua 1:2 (NIV)
I love it when God speaks. He uses no stall tactics. He is straight to the point. “Come on, get ready, let’s go!” When God moves, He moves! The Israelites had already waited for 40 years, why would God move slowly now. It was time to just move forward. So here they are and God says just cross the Jordan River. Okay, so He does say, “get ready to cross…” There is some involvement on our parts. There is always a time to prepare ourselves. Sometimes we think that all we have to do is just move forward with no thought to what’s on the other side of life. God knows better. He knows what’s on the other side. He’s there and that’s why He wants us to be prepared. Get ready, let God tell you when to move, how to move, and why to move. And when you do, the Jordan River will be no problem.
Did you know that the Jordan River was at flood stage when the Israelites were asked to cross it? Yes, this was no easy task! They had to step in by faith and watch God do a miracle. Because God is in the business of miracles. I’m telling you the book of Joshua is full of great treasures. What is your Jordan River in life? What obstacle are you looking at and will you take that step of faith into the promise land that God has given you?
“I will give you every place where you set your foot; as I promised Moses.”
~Joshua 1:3 (NIV)
When your steps are ordered by the Lord, He will give you every place you set your foot. This passage still amazes me! Some translations say, “Every place where you set the heel of your foot…” Can you imagine the territory that was given to the Israelites? God is always very clear, direct, and good about following through on everything that He says. He does not beat around the bush. He has a plan for your life. He will come through for you, just like He said He would. He does not mess around. The key is taking each step in the Lord. Will you follow His direction for your life? Will you choose to step into His plans for you?
Dear Father God, I pray that You will give me a heart like Joshua. May I be bold and courageous. May I move forward in the direction You call me into. May I take the steps You call me to take! Lord, please teach me to live a holy and blameless life before You!
I desire to step into the Promise Land!