I love chapter 1 of Joshua because of the picture it brings to my mind. Moses, a larger than life leader, has just died and God says to Joshua, “you’re up, time to get into the game.” What do you think was going through Joshua’s head? Hmm, maybe a little fear? OK, a lot of fear.
How could he step into the gigantic shoes of Moses and lead a bunch of stubborn sheep? He watched what Moses went through and I’m sure had some grave reservations as God was calling him off the bench. But notice how God responds to the voices that must have been running rapidly through his mind and I know through mine as well: “I will give you every place where you set your foot as I have promised to Moses” (1:3). After 40 years of wandering in the desert from Egypt, God is saying to His loved children, “now it is time to live into your destiny, this is what you have been created for, step into a new land created just for you out of my love.”
God the Father has saved you and me from our sins so that we could live into all His promises. He calls us to step into the game and experience what you have been specifically designed for. Yes, believe me this is scary stuff because it is always a call into the impossible as we will see with the children of Israel. There will always be giants in the land before you, always be voices telling you it can’t be done, you will doubt yourself, you will doubt that you heard God’s voice right.
But take notice what he goes on to say to Joshua and the people: “No one will be to stand up against you all they days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (vs. 5,9).
Yes there will be opposition in this game, yes it won’t be easy, but no worries because “I am with you wherever you go.” Those words are so precious to me and I hope to you. You never play this game alone, the presence of the Father is always there for you, leading, protecting, encouraging, surrounding you with His never ending arms of love.
You have been given the best shoes, the Gospel shoes that Christ has put on your feet. They are the shoes that Jesus put on as he followed His Father perfectly in life, death, resurrection, and as he walked into heaven and took his place on the right hand of his Father. They are now your shoes and in Christ you can step forward in confidence that this game you cannot lose, just take the first step of faith and see!