(Friday, January 24, 2014) When Joshua faced the first great hurdle as the leader of the Jews he felt alone, but God appeared to him to reassure him he was not alone (see yesterday’s blog). He had a second truth to teach him, one which also speaks to me as I pass it on to the pastors here. It applies to you as well. That’s why I share it with you today.
When Joshua went out alone before attacking Jericho God appeared to him to reassure him he was not alone. When Joshua asked who He was He said He was the commander of God’s army (Joshua 5:14). He reassured Joshua He wasn’t in the Jews army or Jericho’s army. He was in God’s army. In fact He was the head of the army because He was God Himself. You see, Joshua thought he was the commander of the army, but really God is showing Joshua that He outranks Joshua. So Joshua is not the highest ranking officer. God Himself outranks Him and is taking command from Joshua. Joshua only thought it was his battle when in really it is God’s battle.
As I teach this I am reminded that I am not in charge of this ministry in India. On the one hand this is very evident! I can’t even speak the language! Pastor Moses tells me when to talk and that is my only responsibility. But that part of it is a great responsibility. I have 4+ hours a day to impact up to 225 godly men and women in the best way possible. There are so many things to teach, continual interruptions and distractions and difficult conditions in which to minister. I must remember God is in control here, even over what I say even over what I say and how I say it. He puts the works into my mind and I speak them with my mouth. They God does the same with Pastor Moses a he translated, and the people as they listen.
I remind the pastors that it is God’s ministry, His church. He is the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), the sheep belong to Him, not us. He promises that He will build His church (Matthew 16:18). It is His work, not ours. That is great reassurance for the pastors who listen as well as I who speak the words. I am not in charge. He is. I need not worry, get upset, try to force things. I am not alone, and I am not in charge. Neither are you.
Joshua 5:13-15 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” 14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” 15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Are you a person who wants/needs to be in control? If so, confess your lack of faith in God because it is a sin. Give God control of your life, especially what you fear and worry about. Don’t think it is up to you. You are not in charge. Thank God for that fact!