The Plan is His Presence: Joshua, Part 1
Joshua 1:2 Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.
This is one of the “great moments” of Scripture. Everything changed for Joshua. The great one had passed. He had been number two for a long time, and was now being called to lead. The call to go into the Promised Land had been given to his predecessor, not to him. Here was a “normal guy” called to fulfill a vision received by someone else, and someone larger than life.
How was Joshua supposed to proceed? What plan would he adopt? Would he copy Moses? If not, what was the new strategy?
Happily, Joshua didn’t lean on a plan. God’s promise in v. 5 of Joshua 1 was this: “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
“God with Joshua” was the plan. The presence of God was the strategy. In that context, with God’s promise of His presence with Joshua, what was God’s first command to him? Verse 9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The first action Joshua was called to was a change of heart and mind: “Believe that I the Lord am with you, and let’s begin this new relationship by encouraging and strengthening yourself with that assurance.”
Have you ever had the rug pulled out from you? Has your world ever suddenly changed? The best first response is to remember Emmanuel, God with us. Before we kick into action, let’s kick into faith and believe that His presence is always our strongest asset.
Prayer: Lord, when changes come quickly and I’m tempted to act before thinking, please remind me that You are with me. Help me to know the wonder and power of that gift before making a move.
A few years ago I was praying for some folks, and God said I was praying all wrong. So I said, “O.K….?” and waited. He said “You pray like My blessings are poker-chips I push across the table to you. My PRESENCE is blessing.”
Nothing formal, but the last few years that’s been my theological rule-of-thumb: God’s Presence is His protection for us, His joy to us, His strength in us, etc.
I hadn’t thought of it in terms of His PLAN for us. But so it is.
Thanks for that fruitful insight, and (when I say it, you’ll know exactly what I mean) BLESSING to you.
Thank you, Steve. The FULLNESS of His presence and all its attendant blessings are apparently my heart’s learning topic of the year!