Moses was a gifted, well-trained, experienced leader. When he died, Joshua led. It was hard for Joshua. He was a typical, average person. He was called to do something he wasn’t naturally prepared to do – and he knew it. Still, he was God’s choice to lead the Jews into the Promised Land.

Often God chooses those who know they are incapable so they will rely and depend on Him. Do you feel that way in your current roles ?  God taught Joshua two lessons about times like that which can help us today.

#1-YOU ARE NOT ALONE:  Joshua 5:13 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?”

            God revealed Himself to Joshua  to assure him  he was not alone.  We all carry responsibilities for other people, and sometimes the stress gets hard to bear. We may not be able to see Him, but we know He is with us (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5) and dwells within us (1 Corinthians 3:16).  When Joshua first took over for Moses, God had promised to be with him:  “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).  God is repeating it again to make sure Joshua remembers it .Our enemy and our own insecurities  sometimes convince us that God has forsaken us, no one cares, and we are  alone. Those are lies. They contradict God’s word – Philippians 1:6.

When do you feel most discouraged ? When do you feel most alone? Think of all the times God has provided for you. There may be events you don’t understand, but somehow God is still with you through them. Quote God’s Word . Make a list ahead of time to use in these moments.

#2-Remember YOU AREN’T IN CHARGE:  Joshua 5:14 “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?”

            Jesus was reminding Joshua that He Himself was “Commander of the army of the Lord,” not Joshua. Joshua is outranked.  The highest ranking officer is always in charge, and Jesus outranks Joshua. Jesus outranks you and me as well!  We are not in charge! 

            When you are responsible for others, you are a shepherd. We are shepherds under the Chief Shepherd. The family and people we care for are His sheep, not ours (1 Peter 5:4). They belong to Him and are on loan to us. Since they are His sheep, then He is in charge. We must carry out His plans and orders, not ours! God has a plan for each of us, and it is different than His plan for others around us. We can lead with courage and confidence, but our confidence must be in God and not in ourselves.

            Do you sometimes think that those in your family, church or ministry belong to you? Do you ever forget they are really God’s and not yours? Do you ever feel like your battles are yours alone to fight? Why is it so important to always remember Jesus is in control and not us? Do you always strive to lead His sheep the way He wants them to go instead of going by your own plans and ideas?

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