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By Jon Shonebarger

The mighty man of God was dead! In the prime of his life with his physical strength and vision intact, God took his life. He had obediently performed miraculous signs and wonders as God’s chosen leader in the nation of Egypt. He boldly stood up to the cruel Egyptian Pharaoh. He courageously led the children of Israel across the Red Sea. He faithfully shared the Law of God with the people and instituted the methods of worship and service in the Tabernacle. He had successfully led the children of Israel to the threshold of the Promised Land. He had been a leader of enormous impact and faith. The Lord even declared that he was the “meekest” man that ever lived. A man of controlled strength and wisdom. His name was Moses.

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

Tragically, Moses’ disobedience to God’s command while providing water to the children of Israel resulted in God forbidding him from entering the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12). However, God would enable Moses to see the land promised to the Patriarchs from the top of a mountain. Now, his leadership journey had ended. A new leader was chosen to take the children of Israel across the Jordan River and settle the land. The heir apparent was Joshua, a man who had been a faithful companion of Moses and a servant of God. Joshua was chosen to take up Moses’ leadership mantle.

God described Joshua as a man “full of the spirit of wisdom.” Moses laid his hands upon him in open display of God’s calling, favor and anointing. (Deuteronomy 34:9). Joshua’s moment had come. His mentor Moses had passed; the journey to the Promised Land must be completed through his leadership. He had been trained, counseled and battle tested. Now, it was time to respond to God’s call.

The Lord in His faithfulness promised Joshua that He would never leave or forsake him. Just as the Lord had provided for and led His mighty servant Moses, Joshua could also take comfort in God’s omnipresence. Yes, it was an enormous calling upon Joshua, yet he knew that whom God called for service, God would provide for their every need. God’s Name is Jehoveh-Jireh, the Lord who provides. Joshua had witnessed that faithfulness with Moses. God assured Joshua that He would not fail him. What more could a servant require from His God?

Now, what would God require from Joshua to accomplish the tremendous commission? God instructed Joshua that he would need to be strong and very courageous. To obey the Word of God. To not deviate from the straight path God had laid before him. If Joshua would obediently comply with this guidance from the Lord, he was guaranteed a prosperous and successful fulfillment of his calling (Joshua 1:8-9).

What kind of strength was God asking him to demonstrate? Spiritual strength to overcome temptation; spiritual strength to walk by faith and not by sight; spiritual strength to call down God’s help from heaven. It would require emotional strength. Moses responded in anger emotionally to the harassment of the children of Israel and committed sin against God. Leadership requires emotional strength. Finally, physical strength would be required as Joshua would have to battle the enemy possessing the Promised Land.

Moral leadership takes courage. Joshua would be tested in every capacity as he assumed the leadership reigns from God. Today, God is still assuring His children of His presence, power and provision. He is still requiring our obedience, faith, strength and courage. There are still mountains to climb, oceans to cross and conquests to complete. The Lord is still requiring moral leadership to accomplish His purposes, in His time and for His glory.

Let us each respond to God’s plan for our lives as patterned in the life of Joshua. Opportunities for a prosperous and successful journey are available to each of us as we employ these vital principles from the Word of God. Have a great week and remember, God loves YOU!

Contact Jon Shonebarger at [email protected]