“Moses, my servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross the Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.” Joshua 1:2.
God doesn’t mince words or waste time. His command to Joshua to take over from Moses the leadership of His people was direct and clear. In the first few verses of Joshua God instructs Joshua on what it will take to move forward.
What must Joshua have been thinking at that moment? Do you think he was reflecting on his journey with Caleb to spy on the land? Do you think he was thinking about Rahab? Do you think he was thinking about the times he spent listening to Moses?
What do you think about the first day on a new job? Or the first day in a new city? Or the day the boss tells you he’s promoting you and your new responsibilities begin right after lunch? Does Joshua feel excitement, anticipation? Is he eager to take over for Moses, the legend?
God gives to Joshua, and to us today, specific instructions to help us fulfill God’s will for our lives when we face new challenges and opportunities or begin new journeys. If Joshua was to succeed as the leader of God’s people, God tells Joshua, “Arise, cross the Jordan. You and all this people.” v. 2. In other words, “Go. now. Take responsibility for your actions, accept the challenge God has given you. God told Joshua, “the land which I am giving to them.” It’s a done deal. Joshua doesn’t have a clue what he and the Israelites will face on the other side of the Jordan. All he knows is God has promised to give them the land.
We will face challenges and new opportunities of which we no little or nothing before we face them. But we were designed to win. God has already promised us He will give us the victory. So, lay claim to His promises and your territory. Whatever the challenge, whatever the journey, God prepared it for us and equipped us to handle it. He gives us clear instructions how to face the challenge, then promises He will deliver. Read what God promised Joshua he would have. “From the wilderness and Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.” v.4
What is your territory? Is it a new job, a new marriage, a new family, a new financial struggle, a new illness, a new trial? Claim it in the name of Jesus. God has promised that He will handle all the details if you take responsibility, own your journey, and claim the victory God promises.
If we don’t, and we give up ground, or we decide to quit, or we throw a pity party, Satan’s right there waiting to make your molehill into a mountain. Don’t let fear or doubt or discouragement give Satan a chance. Claim your territory and your victory and don’t give it up to or for anyone!
Don’t allow anyone to dampen your spirit. God told Joshua that no man would ever be able to stand before him. In other words, no man would ever successfully threaten Joshua’s leadership or God’s plan for His people. On any journey we face we can stand on God’s promises: No man will be able to stand against you; I will be with you just like I was with Moses; I will not fail you or forsake you; and I will give you the land which I promised to your forefathers. We could relate that last promise another way: I will give you victory. I am who I say I am and I’ll do what I say I’ll do.
Doesn’t all that give us confidence? Remember the same words God spoke to Joshua He speaks to us today. All the promises He made to Joshua, He makes to us. How could we not face a new journey or a new challenge without being strong and courageous knowing all God has promised us?
If we’re to succeed in our journey, we must remember to operate from the right user’s guide. If we’re driving through Birmingham and we have a map of Atlanta, we probably won’t get to where we’re going. The same goes for God’s word. If we listen to what the world tells us we won’t know success or victory on our journey.
We’ll hear lots of voices along our journey. We have to be wise enough to listen to the right voice. We’ll have friends and relatives advising us. We’ll have colleagues that know a better way. They’ll call us foolish for not doing it their way. But the only voice we need to listen to is the voice of God.
Here’s how God closes out His instructions to His new leader, and to each of us today as we face new journeys, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.
God is commanding. God is leading. God is controlling. God is encouraging. God is promising to be with us.
And God is promising us victory.
Arise, and go.