If you knew that God was telling you to do something, would you do it? I mean, if you absolutely, positively, no-doubt- about-it knew that you were supposed to do something, would you do it? I’m assuming the answer is yes. If there’s no room for error, we’d all do it. It doesn’t take courage; we have conviction.
Okay, let’s raise the stakes then. What if the thing you had been asked to do was crazy? I mean, it flat-out did not line up with what should happen. And yet, every time you stopped to ask, “Are you sure, God?”, His answer was still a resounding YES. Would you do it?
I’m going to propose the answer is yes…eventually. I think we would all stop and pause. It’s to this “pause” period that I want to write about today.
I’m thinking about this idea because my pastor preached on Joshua 1 this past Sunday.
(For those who want a reminder, Joshua was the guy who took over AFTER Moses. He’s the guy that accompanied Moses up half of Mount Sinai when Moses went to go get the Ten Commandments. He was “the” guy who went and fought while Moses held up his arms so that the Israelites would have victory.)
Even though Joshua was, and is, highly regarded, God told Joshua something that he must have thought was crazy. He told Joshua to go and lead the people into the promised land. Now, since Joshua was a kind of “second in command,” you would think this wouldn’t be a shock. I mean, God had even formally commissioned Joshua to be the next leader. Joshua HAD to know it was coming.
But, Joshua also had to be unsure about his ability to walk in his new role and carry out God’s plans because when God told Joshua that it was time to move, He had to command Joshua three times to “be strong and courageous.” The last time He even says “Have I not commanded you?”
Umm…hello Joshua. It’s time to go.
I’m imagining that Joshua froze up on God in this moment. It had to be his “pause moment.”He had to be sitting there, running through the lists of what’s happened and how it’s happened and trying to search out if he really thought he could do the job that God called him to do.
In the end, I think it had to be God’s promise (that “the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you”) that moved Joshua’s feet. He had to obey, yes, but his reasoning for doing so had to be because God promised to be with Him. There’s no one in their right mind who would take on a task like that out of vain ambition. He was able to go because there was a promise attached.
And as Joshua went, every time an obstacle or a hard time came, God reminded them of the same things: Do not be afraid. Don’t get discouraged. Keep you mind on the things I’ve told you…and then He brought up that same promise “Remember, I am with you WHEREVER you go.”
God convicts us to do things like take care of people and to apologize and to pursue paths of righteousness. Those things can be a little nerve wrecking, but they don’t take much courage.
But when He’s taking us into our destiny, I think He has to command us. And I think He has to command us because we’d never be convicted that we deserve the things He’s planned for us. We have to trust Him, obey, and accept the courage that gets drummed up from simply hearing a promise from the God of the Universe. Wholly faithful. Ever true.
I’m asking you today, what’s the promise that God’s given you for what He’s called you to do and where He’s asked you to go?