In this time of transition, the Lord directed me to read the book of Joshua. I am only 1 chapter in, and I see how appropriate this word is for us at this time. There are 3 distinct interactions that occur in this chapter. By reading what God says to Joshua, what Joshua says to his people, and what the people say to their new leader, I am like a sponge soaking up so much good Truth. I am going to take 3 posts and pray through each of these 3 parts and interactions at this time of a leadership transition.
What God says to Joshua, the new leader of Israel:
1) “I will give you every place where you set your foot”-God is promising success to Joshua and to the people he is leading. God is proclaiming victory for Joshua and for the Israelites. I pray for spiritual victories to be given to the people of Cornerstone Church. I pray for spiritual territory to be gained. I pray that wherever and however we direct our efforts, would be successful. I pray that every endeavor of our church and our people would advance the kingdom of God. All for HIS glory.
2) “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life”-There will be opposition, but it will not overtake the leader nor the people. I pray for those that seek to oppose and divide, that God will squash the spirit of disunity. I pray against the enemy and the tactics he will attempt to use, and I claim this promise from God that NONE will be able to stand against our leaders and our church, and what we are trying to accomplish for God.
3) “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you.”-As God was with the previous leaders of Israel, He will be with Joshua. He will not leave Joshua, forsake Joshua, or forget about Joshua. This new leader can carry the confidence that God goes with him, before him, and beside him. I pray for Erik and myself, that this knowledge would be at the forefront of our hearts and minds. I pray that his confidence would be sealed in our hearts, and give us great comfort and confidence that the God of our universe resides in us and walks beside us. He is the one who gives the increase, and He is the one who empowers and enables. We don’t walk alone.
4) “Be strong and courageous”-After God reminds Joshua that He will be with him always, He commands Joshua to be strong and courageous. I pray that Erik and I would be courageous…that we would lead with boldness. That we would lead with courage and bravery. We will not be timid. We will not be fearful of people, rejection, opposition, failure. We will be strong and courageous as we embark on new territory…and we can do this because we know that God doesn’t leave or forsake.
5)”Be careful to obey all the law…do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful in wherever you go. Do not let the Book of the Law depart from your mouth…be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” God reminds Joshua that success and victory is contingent upon remaining faithful to God and to HIs word. I pray that Erik and I continue to root ourselves in the Word of God. I pray would not be tempted to read in to God’s Word our own ideas, but rather, we’d allow God’s Word to shape our ideas and thoughts and perspectives. I pray that we would depend on God’s Word for our wisdom. I pray that we would never deviate from God’s Word, and that it would remain the foundation of our lives. I pray that our mouths would continually proclaim the law of God, and that our lives would reflect the truths of God’s Word. I pray that we would live how we say we live, and that is by the light of God’s Word.
6) “Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God is reminding Joshua that there will be times when fear and discouragement would be the natural reactions to situations. Erik and I have been in ministry long enough to know that sometimes circumstances can cause fear, and that discouragement can be a daily battle. God is commanding Joshua to stand up to fear and discouragement and their crippling affect. The key to this victory is remembering that God will be with us in whatever we does and wherever we go. I take this command to not be scared of foe or failure or to be defeated by discouragement, and I claim this promise from God that He is with us wherever we go. Amen and Amen!