Is Joshua 1 the best pep talk ever? It might be.
I can almost imagine Joshua and his best men, his right hands, his lieutenants who he is counting on to aid him in taking on this mammoth responsibility of following Moses, all gathered around.
And then Coach, er, God arrives to give the pre-game speech.
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them” (Joshua 1:5-6).
That’s pretty heady stuff! But sometimes, it’s what we need to hear. Joshua was told to be strong and courageous THREE TIMES if you read through the rest of God’s pre-march speech. Three times.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have to tell my kids things several times, and we have a running joke that if the service time for worship changes, that it has be announced three times – and people will still show up at the wrong time. God knows Joshua needs to hear this again and again. But God accomplishes a lot with a little.
Check out verses 5 and 6 again.
God says that Joshua’s enemies don’t stand a chance.
God reminds Joshua that God was with Moses through everything – the burning bush, the plagues, the Red Sea crossing, forty years of playing customer service.
God says that God will never leave Joshua.
And God informs Joshua that Joshua will lead the people into the place that was promised long ago – that Joshua is fulfilling a story that was a long time coming.
Joshua had to be pretty fired up, right?
If you know me – or you’ve been reading the blog for awhile – you know that I’m transitioning from one church to another one. I will have new people to lead, and a new ‘territory’ to grow and understand. But I believe I’m doing what God has called me to and that God already has a plan. That’s comforting in the midst of all this change.
These words to Joshua remind me of the kind of guidance, leadership, and plan God already has in place. I am not alone; this isn’t on me. But there’s one more thing that caught my eye (I blame Mark Batterson and The Circle Maker…) in verse 3: “I will give you every place where you set your foot.”
Joshua is probably fired up. And Joshua has certainly received the speech. But God’s promises and guidance go hand-in-hand with God’s ‘push’: Joshua has to go – he has to move.
I’m comforted reading about what God would push Joshua to, and where God promised to be with him no matter what. But I’m also reminded that I must go – that where I set my feet will be used for God’s ultimate glory. It’s heady stuff – and it’s exciting.
Where will you go that God might be glorified this week?