When we say yes to God, He has the right to interrupt our lives.
As a leader, we follow a dream, an idea, a God-given vision of what the future can look like. Sometimes seeing the God-given vision or arriving at the promised land takes more time than we expected. So we get discouraged. We let fear and doubt get into our heart.
The stories in Jos 5 and 6 are good examples of a longtime desire of Israel’s people. They wanted to have their own territory. They’ve been promised by God and they are close. But it’s not as easy as just getting there and claiming the land.
While Joshua was preparing for battle, he was interrupted by God’s divine presence that will guide him in a different kind of battle. This battle will require faith, obedience and persistence. This battle will depend upon God, not weapons or experience.
Some principles we can learn from Joshua’s leadership in these two chapters are:
1. Expect obstacles. Have you ever felt strong and ready and then a big wall shows up in front of your life? The kind of wall that seems almost impossible to pull down? The promised land did not come wrapped as a gift with a bow on top. More than one tribe occupied the land and it had a big wall to be pulled down that seemed immovable. Yet God was with them. You will find obstacles in your ministry journey. Expect them. Be ready to engage when life and ministry get tough.
2. Remember who is with you. Sometimes ministry can look like an impossible task when we see problems, opposition and any kind of obstacle rising. In the middle of the heat is when we need to realize who called us into ministry. Don’t let fear stop you from being who God calls you to be.
3. Be persistent and trust in God’s plan. God’s plan is the best. Sometimes we don’t understand it. Sometimes we wonder why we are not “there” yet. But God’s plan could look totally different than ours. Don’t get discouraged. He is in control. He still has you in his hand.
In what areas of your life do you need to exercise persistence? Ask God to reveal these to you.
By Mardia Lira