Friday, July 20, 2012

Joshua Part 2 From Slave to Supreme Commander

Part 2 - From Slave to Supreme Commander.

This message was preached at Word of Grace church  by Colin D Cruz on the 15th of July 2012. You can listen or download  to the Audio recording  of the message by clicking here

Part 2 – From Slave to Supreme Commander!
We have all heard of many Rags to Riches stories and many names come to mind like the Ambanis etc. Today we are going to look at the life of one man that underwent amazing transformation where he became God’s Supreme Commander – from a slave in Egypt to the supreme Commander who led 2 million people into the Promise land. His name is Joshua.

What was in his life that made him into what he was? He started his life as a slave in Egypt, he fought against the Amalakites. How do we know this?  He was a young man.
We know that from Exodus 17:9. Joshua was asked to lead the battle. He was a fighter and he was Moses assistant as a young man. Read Numbers 11:28 :- “ since his youth…”
Joshua also has the honour of having the first book of the Bible named after an individual. 

 We think of Moses as a great leader. Moses led a few battles.  But Joshua had 31 victories in Canaan besides the ones he fought along with Moses
Joshua was selected to lead the people into the promise land, conquer it, to divide it among the Israelite s.

There are great lessons of leadership to be learned from the life of Joshua.
Joshua’s service to God for many years transformed him into a capable leader.
In Numbers chapters 12 and 13 – we read that twelve spies were sent to spy the land but only two came back with a good report and one of them was Joshua. So he was truly 1 in a million! Out of 2 1/2 million who came out of slavery only Josh and Caleb entered the Promise Land.

We are going to look at 6 qualities in the life of Joshua and see what we can learn from it.
What can we learn from his life?

1.   1. He was a Captain not a consultant. He got his hands and feet wet. He actually did the job. He knew about stuff because he actually did it.

 Joshua had seen all the miracles and he had been part of the men that crossed from Egypt through the Red Sea. Now they face the first challenge the Amalekites. Moses told him to go and fightwhile Moses prayed. Amazing strategy. Ex17:9, 12:37.13,16, 17:9-10 – Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses ordered and he overcame them with the sword. It was a unique battle. As long as Moses’ hands were lifted, Joshua won the battle.
We see that victory come s from the Lord and not an individual’s courage, strength or ingenuity. It’s God. Ps127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house the laborers labor in vain.
This is an important lesson to learn to be dependent on the Lord.

You may have heard of arm chair critics. In a church we can have arm chair critics consultants who tell you how to get the job done. The question is have you got your hands dirty and are you speaking from live experience? Joshua was a captain not a consultant.

2.   2. Joshua was an assistant before he was a leader. Ex24:13 Moses, set out with his aide i.e Joshua. Today people like titles – everyone is an Executive, a Manager, a CEO.
How would you like to be known as someone’s aide/assistant/helper. Four times he is referred to as Moses aide and he was happy and content to serve Moses. Ex31:18 Joshua was there when God gave Moses the 2 Tablets with the Ten Commandments.

We see many such example of serving aides in the Bible that God used powerfully for His glory. Elijah/Elisha. Paul/Timothy, Jesus had his disciples.  We see that these great men of God started off by serving another man, yes they served God , but they also served another 2 Kings 3:1.

In the Christian life we should be ones willing and eager to serve, not looking for a title and a position but asking “how can I serve”. Some serve with the agenda of wanting a promotion. Joshua served for 40 years before he was promoted.

Are you serving somebody? I remember when I left my jet set job with as an international computer trainer and consultant to be David Fernandes “aide”. I often had to the airport at 2 or 3 am in the morning to received our people. There was a time people would come to receive me at the airport now the roles were reversed. I would be standing amongst taxi drivers with a sign board waiting to receive our foreign guest. Remember Serving God is always a privilege. Serving builds character, tests motives, but most importantly we are following Jesus our Saviour.

While everything we do is as unto the Lord the question also arises “Whom are you serving?”  Recognition may or may not come  but in His time He will do it. Our job is to be faithful.

3.   3.Joshua was a man of prayer and desired the presence of God.
Ex24:13 Joshua went with Moses to God’s mountain
Ex 33:7-11 – Joshua did not leave the tent. What a place to be at, God’s presence coming down and the only person with Moses at that time was Joshua.
Numbers 27:18 – He was full of the Holy Spirit. The time came for Joshua to be commissioned, not because he was he was a good fighter but because he was a man “in whom was the Spirit”
Deut 34:9 He was filled with the Spirit because Moses laid his hand son them. In the Old Testament very few received this but in the New Testament this is for all of us. Joel says “In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh”. We need to be a people filled with the Holy Spirit . Are you a person who yearns for the Holy Spirit? We need to spend time in God’s presence and being filled with the Spirit.

Joshua was filled with the Spirit because Moses laid his hands o him. Desire the ministry of the laying on of hands. Desire, for someone to lay hand s on you so that the Spirit of God may come upon you. Timothy received his gift when the body of elders laid hands on him. Throughout the New Testament Paul would lay his hands on people and the Sprit of God would come upon them.

4.   4. He was loyal to Moses.
Numbers 11: 14,28 . Moses has to sort out 2 2/1 million‘s people’s problems. It was too much for him. The Spirit came upon the 70 elders. Two who were not among them also prophesied. Joshua is upset for Moses’ sake. He got it wrong here but he was loyal to Moses.
 Are you committed to your pastor, leader, Life Group Leaders, Serving Team Leader, Boss at work? We need to develop the quality of loyalty. That’s what God wants of us.

5.   5. Joshua was faith filled, obedient and courageous.
Numbers 13:16   The Is have just come out of Egypt ,Moses is at Mt. Sinai, they have received the laws. This is just a pit stop not the destination. They sent 12 spies to explore the land. Ten spies did not have faith. Joshua and Caleb were full of faith. The other 10 turned the hearts of the people.  So Joshua and Caleb were sent to explain and convince people that they could do it. They stood up and followed the Lord whole heartedly. As a result of the people disbelief (those 20 years and older) they wandered for 40 years in the dessert till every one of them died. Only Joshua and Caleb from that generation saw the Promise Land.

 The majority are not always right. Whom are you listening to? The result of all this is that Joshua got the privilege of leading the people into the Promise Land. A whole generation died in the dessert, only two got a chance to enter the promise land.

6.    6. He was Word based.

 Josh 1:8. Joshua had to use the written word. Moses heard God.  Four things here.
He did not allow the Word to depart from his mouth, He meditated on it, he obeyed it and the fruit of it was he saw much success and prosperity in his lifetime.

At the end we see Joshua was victorious. That same truth holds for us. Joshua had giants to face, battles to fight but he was victorious because he had these 6 qualities in him. God will use us in amazing ways no matter how big the obstacles are and we will enter into the promises God has for us.

Colin D Cruz

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