Joshua Study Two
I think it’s important to note that Joshua did not have time to celebrate his promotion. Why? Because he was the right man for the job and that job needed to be done. That’s why people get promotions.
For instance, in business, a man gets promoted into the office of “Head of Marketing.” It is then expected by the company for him to get going. To dive into the job and make things work. Even if it is just to ensure that what is currently being done continues.
Which brings us to our life in Christ. Many times we are brought into a “new season” with Jesus. He has worked with us to bring our maturity and spiritual wisdom to a place where we can do more than just warm a pew in church. Does that mean we won’t make mistakes? Of course not. Try to remember that at no point in our life is God un-aware of what we will do in the future.
Take the act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden for example. God was not happy that his new creations disobeyed Him. But He was not surprised by it, either. He knew what was going to happen the same as He knew that the sin that began that day would eventually be demolished by His own Son.
Promotion is a very good “thing” to gage our lives by. If we are not getting promotions (small or great), we might find it a good time to re-consider our motivations. As mentioned, in the business world, promotions come as one begins to know the job better (altruistic or preferences via the boss aside). When we begin to “get” it and earn the ability to handle more, promotions start to appear.
In the Kingdom of God it can be similar. Keeping in mind that promotions in the Kingdom DO NOT equate Salvation. God’s love for us changes not by what we accomplish. But our desire to do more for God and the Work will often mean a promotion.
Those are the similarities. But there are great differences from there. A promotion in the business world can mean better pay, nice things, better vacations, and more. Promotions in the Kingdom can mean more authority. It can, often, mean better pay as well. But when God promotes you, it’s not to achieve greater worldly success, but greater Heavenly success. Which can bring a harder life, less possessions, less popularity, and lower pay.
For instance, a man and a woman serve God faithfully and He calls them to the mission field in some third world country. They give up their life at home, their jobs, their nice cars and so on. It’s a promotion in the Kingdom, but in the flesh, it’s a demotion. A step backwards because the world sees success through very narrow lenses.
Joshua is immediately given a task: “Moses, My servant is dead. Now arise and go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.” (Joshua 1:2) Joshua does as he is told. He gathers the leaders together and passes the order down. (VS 10) Notice he references Moses?
John Maxwell told of a time that he had been a pastor. He had a number of people in the church who tried to run the show. He worked with for a while and slowly, he began to get them on board with what was happening. He did it in such a way that they were involved. They felt like they were part of the team.
After some years, he was moving onto to other things and he had a sit-down with the incoming pastor. He explained these individuals to the man and how it was important to work with them.
The new pastor wanted nothing to do with that. “When I take over, I will explain to them how they will tow the line and do as they are told.”
Maxwell dropped his head into his hands and prayed quietly, “God this is a stupid, stupid man.” And it wasn’t long after that the church in question was seriously struggling.
Notice what Joshua does as he takes leadership? He points to the thing Moses had in place. He didn’t try to change everything!
In our promotions, it is vital that we realize God has a plan. We don’t need to show up and change everything. God may have a new plan to work and operate through you in your promotion. It may be that He is going to shift things under your leadership. Which, ultimately, He did under Joshua. Yet, what if he had shown up and announced something like, “Okay, I’m in charge now. Things are going to be different”? He would have had a very difficult result.
God will announce what needs to be announce. I leave you with this passage. Jesus addressed this in what might be called “good advice”. In Luke 14, to paraphrase, Jesus had gone to a wealthy persons home to eat. A lot of important people had come as well. In that culture, certain places around the dinner table were chosen as places of honor. Jesus watched as all these “uppities” took those best places. This is what He had to say in response: “When you are invited to a special occasion, sit at a lowly place around the table. Then, when the person in charge comes to take you to a more important place, your achievements will be recognized by all. It’s a much better thing than to sit in a high place and be removed, much to your own embarrassment, and be replaced by someone else.”
You needn’t announce your promotion. You need only accept it, step into it, and charge on for the Kingdom!
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