Getting a promotion is good news! Most, if not all, look forward to hearing this from their superiors. But when the weight of the position sinks in – more people to handle, more accounts to hold, more tasks, more accountability, it may seem daunting. There is someone who can relate with you because he experienced the weight of the promotion on his shoulders when he was called to lead a nation, and that is Joshua of the Bible.
Big Shoes to Fill
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, and I will commission him.”
In the last few chapters of Deuteronomy, Moses announced to the Israelites that he is retiring from his leadership position because of his old age and also because God instructed him to do so. He announced that Joshua will be the one to take his place. Joshua now has big shoes to fill in – he had to be the successor of a great leader, Moses. His task was also clear, and that is to lead the Israelites – not to mention a difficult people – into the Promised Land, as God had planned (Deuteronomy 3:28).
Encouragement from the Task-Giver
Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” — Deuteronomy 31:7-8 (NASB)
Even though Moses gave instructions as to what Joshua must do, to lead the Israelites as they enter the Promised Land and to divide the land for the 12 tribes, he also took the time to encourage Joshua and to remind him that God will lead the way for him. God Himself reassured Joshua of His presence and even commanded him to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:5-6). Joshua had no room to doubt whether or not he is the right person to lead the Israelites because both God and Moses reassured him.
Born for Such a Task
It was God who commissioned Joshua for the task and he prepared Joshua for it. He became Moses’ assistant since his youth, shadowing the great leader (Numbers 11:28). He was also one of the 12 spies to explore Canaan, the Promised Land (Numbers 13), and only he and Caleb gave a positive and hopeful report, in line with their faith in God. Little did Joshua know that these experiences prepared him for his God-given calling.
Fast forward to Joshua’s track record, He was able to successfully lead the Israelites in entering the Promised Land, drove out the Canaanites, and divided the land to the 12 tribes of Israel. It was under his leadership that the Jordan river parted (Joshua 3), the walls of Jericho fell (Joshua 6), and the sun stood still (Joshua 10). God used Joshua to display His glory. He succeeded in his endeavors as he remained faithful to the LORD. The book of Joshua in the Bible was written to account his leadership journey.
Am I ready?
The question “Am I ready” is not really our decision. God, our Task Giver, knows when the right time is for us to take on such a task. There are times when we may not understand why we have to go through certain situations, yet God is using those to prepare us for a certain task. He is always at work, giving us the skill sets and gifts to carry out what He wants us to do (1 Peter 4:10-11). God puts us in certain situations to mold us to become better persons, reflecting His character. As we grow in our relationship with Christ and become more like Him, He opens doors of opportunities for us to exercise our God-given gifts to glorify Him.
Are you, like Joshua, who has been promoted to carry a great task? It may be a job promotion, a business expansion, marriage, having another child, a commitment to a ministry, or a challenge to start leading a WIDER group. Whatever it is, pray about it and allow yourself to be used by Him as an instrument to bring glory to His Name. Once you carry it out, God will give you the same promise He gave to Joshua in Joshua 1:5-6 – “I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous.”