Saturday, May 2, 2015
when you're called to step UP
What happens when you're called to step up? What exactly does it look like to a leader in your community?
Maybe that thought does not even appeal to you. You're the one who is more than happy to stay in the shadows and help out when possible, but have no interest in being considered... a LEADER! Man, that involves some major responsibility!
Or, you could be the one who L.O.V.E.S. the limelight. Now, you may not want to admit that, and you may even hide behind false humility... but deep down, there's nothing that gets you more excited than being out front and recognized!
Today I want to take a closer look at Joshua's call to step UP.
First, it is interesting to me that Joshua is introduced as Moses' minister. Before Joshua was ever called to a place of leadership in his community, he was a servant. He attended to the menial tasks of whatever Moses needed him to do. He'd probably be called Moses' right hand man in today's terminology. Isn't it interesting that in Matthew 20:26-28, Jesus taught that whoever wants to be great should be a minister... that even He, the son of GOD, came not to be ministered unto, but to minister? Before we can ever be effective leaders in any capacity, we must first take a step down and practice serving others. Servant leadership.
Secondly, it's hard not to notice how many times Joshua is told "Be strong and of a good courage." Why do you think Joshua is told that so many times? In this passage it's three times, but if you look back in Deuteronomy 31, you'll see that Moses had just got done telling Joshua this very thing THREE times.
I think that Joshua may have been that person who was more than happy to be a right hand man. Honestly, I think he loved serving God by assisting another person. The idea of leadership though? It terrified him. But, here he was being called to step UP. He desperately needed strength and courage.
Being strong and courageous involves both physical and mental capacities. What is it that God is calling you to? Are you keeping yourself physically able to do that, or are you running yourself down with a thousand other things than what God has for you? How about mentally? Are you giving yourself time and space to meditate on God's word? For each person, it will look different. But don't get caught up with trying to keep up with the Jones' or even that Christian leader that you admire so much. God has called YOU to live YOUR life for Him.
What does God tell Joshua NOT to be? Afraid or dismayed. Afraid carries with it the idea of "awe" or "dread." Dismayed means "to be broken down by violence or confusion and fear."
When God calls you to step UP and out of the shadows, how do you feel? What's your reaction? Are you giddy with excitement because you'll be in the limelight? Don't forget it's all about being a servant - not being filled with power. Are you terrified of the responsibility before you and how it will ever get done? Don't give place to that confusion or fear. Why?
Well, let's look at the third thing in this study: God's presence. All the time, everywhere, in every capacity, our God is with us. He is not a God that is distant and will not hear. He is not a God that comes through for us only sometimes. He is always with us. Always. Always. Always. And He is always working everything together for His glory and our good. Was Joshua going to have trouble ahead of him? Oh, you better believe it. Some days were going to be harder than others, but in each and every moment, God was with Him.
Too often, we take on whatever lies before us in our own strength. We try to be better Christians, better leaders, better moms, better wives... but that's just the problem. WE are trying to do it. Next time, rather than push through and try harder, how about whispering a prayer to the very God who is with you? Acknowledge His presence. Yield to Him, and let Him live through you.
So, when you're called to step UP, remember first to take a step down - always be a servant. When you're terrified to even think about what lies before you, be strong by calling to mind the fact that God is with you. Claim the promises He has given. And when confusion and fear threaten to reign, cast them down by lifting Him up.