The season of God’s mighty power has arrived! A new day has dawned, and with it emerges a new breed of believers. The torch of truth will be carried in the hands of this generation. Mighty ones are rising with grace in their hearts to do his bidding, filled with humility in their lifestyle and truth burning in their bones. This is the “Joshua generation”!
The church needs the message of the book of Joshua more than ever before. It’s a “now word” for the church. We’re living in a day when many of God’s people are walking in defeat and discouragement. But God’s destiny for each and every one of us is that we shine bright “as the dayspring of the dawn, fair as the shining moon, bright and brilliant as the sun in all its strength—astonishing to behold as a majestic army waving banners of victory” (Song of Songs 6:10). Today is the day to come out of hiding. He’s prepared a crown of victory and a crown of rejoicing for us.
In the beginning of the book of Joshua, Moses, the hero and great leader, had died and now the biggest challenge for Joshua had come. It was time for him to arise and take his place! Joshua couldn’t live on the revelation Moses had received. He needed his own fresh revelation. Moses’ revelation was yesterday’s revelation. God’s plan for Joshua was to enter the land with the express purpose of conquering it. Joshua had no thought of surrender; he believed that he would conquer and take full possession.
The book of Joshua begins as Joshua is called into leadership. For whenever God brings a new beginning, he raises up new leadership to initiate it. When we want to accomplish something, we begin by making our plans and strategies. We often look for a new method—a new, novel, clever way of doing it. Whether we’re starting a new resolution for our personal lives, a new law in Congress, or a new project in our jobs, we tinker with everything to try to make it better than before. But when God has something new and powerful that he wants done, he always raises up people—a new breed of people.
Think of it: Joshua was mentored by Moses, one of the greatest leaders ever to live. What an honor! Joshua had been Moses’ personal assistant. What an opportunity! Day in and day out, Joshua walked alongside a devoted leader who heard from God. And as Joshua remained faithful to Moses and to God, he was promoted and made ready for the transfer of leadership.
God chose Joshua to bring the Israelites into the promised land—not Moses. And as he did for Joshua, God has a special calling for each of us. No two people have the same calling, so it’s imperative that you hear God’s roadmap for you personally and then commit faithfully to it!
Leaders are flexible. Joshua started out as a slave in Egypt and ended up bringing God’s champions into their inheritance. Joshua is a story of moving from a slave to a world changer. He began life as a slave, with all the deep struggles that come with slavery. He knew what it meant to be rejected and to feel inferior in culture and society. He had been marred and hurt by his situation, but God used his experiences as a slave to make him the mighty man of God that he became. Even the most tragic circumstances we walk through will be used by God for good (Rom. 8:28). The enemy may have meant Joshua’s slavery for evil, but the Father used it in Joshua to bring him into his promised inheritance and to bring glory and honor to God.
The next season of Joshua’s life was learning warfare and becoming a soldier. He had learned how to endure hardships and how to take orders in Egypt—he knew how to respond to his masters as a slave. Now he was free, but he still had Moses and God the Father to respond to, and he was faithful. As the people of God began their journey through the wilderness, they had their first encounter with the people called the Amalekites (Exodus 17).
Real leaders won’t allow an attack to stop them. Moses put Joshua in charge, for he knew that Joshua wasn’t one who would back down. He was no longer a slave, and that was his day to arise. His struggle with the past was over and he would no longer be oppressed. He was no longer a victim, and he had a holy dissatisfaction, a revolutionary spirit, rising up within him.
Great men and women of God are never quitters! They don’t turn back. They’ll stand up and say, “Even if everyone else quits, I’ll press on. I refuse to give up and let the enemy take over!” And in the same way, it’s time for you to arise, too.
“So, Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”Exodus 17:13 NIV
Joshua was also a submitted servant. He gave his life, his purposes, his destiny, and his future into the hands of leaders. That can be a hard test for many. The woundedness of our life, a lack of fathering, or the lack of good role models in the church in generations gone by can become excuses to keep us from submitting our lives to others. These things can all seem like pleasant, convenient excuses to keep us from giving ourselves to others and living a submitted lifestyle of loyalty, purity, and holiness. There are always lots of excuses we can use. But until we can learn to submit to another man and his vision it will be hard for us to receive God’s blessing. For no matter who’s over us, God is the ultimate authority, and he’s the one that places others in places of authority over us. Fortunately, Joshua had a great leader named Moses.
“Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.”Exodus 33:7–11 NIV
Scripture says the Lord would speak to Moses face to face. That’s pretty intimate. That’s up close and personal. How close do you want to be with God? Neither Moses nor Joshua had any trouble with God the Father being close and in their faces. They loved the presence of God!
When Joshua went into the tent he did not want to leave. When Moses came out and left, Joshua remained. That is something extra special about the Joshua generation. They go in, but they do not go out. They just stay right there, saying, “I just want to worship. I want to stay right here with you, God. I just want to be in this place, glowing, glistening, and burning in your presence. I want to radiate with your glory!” Joshua did not leave the tent. There is something about this generation. They will not leave when the Lord shows up.
Not only was Joshua a slave, a soldier, a servant, and a seeker, he was also a spy. Another term for this would be “forerunner.” Joshua went ahead to discover what God was doing. There was something prophetic about him. General Joshua was a leader that was a prophet—a prophetic forerunner. He had to see what was out there. I think he got this from Moses, who had to go to the far reaches of the desert to see the burning bush. It was that encounter, hearing God speak out of the bush, that launched his ministry. Joshua in turn was a spy who went deep into enemy territory and returned to Moses with a God-focused report. Joshua was a man of faith, courage, and strength.
Do you feel the call to grow from your past into leadership, to rise and face challenges courageously, and to serve those God has placed in leadership above you? Are you eager to seek a passionate relationship with God and to be a forerunner and encounter the Father? Are you ready to enlist in this emerging Joshua generation?
The books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth recount the compelling journey of Israel’s beginnings and awe-inspiring history. Watch God’s people transition from wanderers to conquerors.
Begin with the book of Joshua, which reveals the secrets of conquest and details jaw-dropping victories and devastating defeats. Then study the rich portraits of the various men and women who distinguished themselves as champions of faith, challenging the status quo in Israel when they had neither a king nor a prophet to lead them. Conclude with the book of Ruth and its enchanting love story. See mercy triumph over judgment, famine lead to harvest, and despair transform into delight.
This triad of Old Testament books reveals God’s sovereignty and assures us that we have the courage to conquer and overcome the impossible for his good purposes.
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