Joshua’s story is fascinating. It is the story of a man who endured the consequences of other people’s stubbornness, disobedience, and unfaithfulness. If we are not careful enough we can get caught up in his victories, his courage and strength, and the boldness in his confession at the end of the story where he tells the people that regardless of what they do with their faith, he and his house will serve the Lord, leaving out the fact that his faith was also tested.
I like to think that I am as bold as Joshua and that I have the courage to overcome whatever comes my way. But the truth is that too often I find myself on the opposite side. I tend to be weak, fearful, and unwilling to overcome some of the difficulties of life. Many times I find my comfort spot; unwilling to move forward. By moving forward I mean living as God is calling me to live. Connected to him, loving him, and loving people unconditionally.
At this point, Joshua saw a whole generation die in front of his eyes because of disobedience. There is no record that he questioned his faith and God about this, but maybe he sometimes thought about it. Think about it, if you are living for God but everyone else, except a few, are living in total disobedience to God and then you have to endure the consequences of the unfaithful would you be as eager to continue to live in faith as Joshua did?
However, Joshua remained faithful. Even if he thought about doubting, he seemed to seek the right answers in the right places. Scripture says that Joshua was full of wisdom, Godly wisdom. And this is something he had to look for.
In Hebrew the meaning of the name Joshua is: Jehovah is generous. Jehovah saves. Joshua presents us a picture of Jesus Christ who would come and save the world. Unlike Joshua, Jesus took the pain and suffering we deserved because of our disobedience and sin.
Joshua led the people into the promised land. He had the courage to believe in God’s promises. Jesus is also leading us into an ultimate glory. Instead of trying to become like Joshua, today I want to fix my eyes in the ultimate true Joshua who endured the cross for my sake. He is the one leading us, and His promises won’t fail. And when I feel weak or discouraged, I can look up to heaven and find strength in Him. I have nothing to prove, I don't have what it takes, but the one who lives inside my heart can give me everything I need to endure, overcome, and conquer my next enemy.
Don’t try to be like Joshua, instead follow the ultimate savior Jesus Christ and see your soul be strengthened in a supernatural way.
I hope your week is full of stories already of how God is giving you strength to carry on. One of the things that I often fight with, is the feeling of having to portray a picture of someone who never struggles in life. Being a Pastor sure puts a burden on you to try to do exactly that.
You may not want to know that I do have times of disappointment, exhaustion, frustration, and almost anything that ends with an “ation”…. hehehe. You get the point, and I am sure you have felt like that too. But what you definitely need to know, is that having you in my life keeps me going when I feel like I can’t. Church family is something that Norma and I value, and my prayer is that you can also learn to rely on your church family to overcome the difficulties of life. We need each other, and Jesus is calling us to walk together this journey of faith. He is the builder and we are stones. I love the way Peter writes it:
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)
We are the church, and we are not stopping. God is moving in our midst, and we won’t settle. Together we will continue to move forward and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. Keep walking, keep moving, God is with you!