Finish Strong

Part 1: The Call of Joshua

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Strength and courage are two things that are difficult to have on our own. However, when we have the God of creation on our side – with us wherever we go – we can have strength. We can have courage. We don't have to fear or be discouraged. We can go out in faith and trust that He will be with us, no matter where He may lead or call us.


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Being Called By God

Many of us who have been around “church culture” or who have attended church for any length of time have likely heard the words Be strong and courageous. These words are found throughout the book of Joshua and are first said by God in Joshua 1:9. God calls Joshua to be strong and courageous, for He was about to lead Him to a place that was unknown, uncertain, and, frankly, quite terrifying. 

But what does that really mean – to be “called” by God? If you are a Christ-follower, then you have probably heard a pastor or church leader use this language. 

“God is calling me to this job.” 

“God called me to marry my spouse.”

“God is calling me to move to this place.”

God calls His children to different places and positions in life. Whether He leads you to a position in a ministry or in a corporation, in your neighborhood or across the world, in the gym or in a grocery store, God has His guiding hand on our lives and will lead us to a place and purpose of His divine calling. Our job is to trust and obey, knowing that the place that He leads us right now is the most important work that we can be doing because it’s where He wants us to be.

We must also know that just because we are in a place of God’s calling does not mean that it will be easy. We often think that if it’s God’s will, then it will be simple and straightforward. However, in actuality, God’s calling may, and likely will, require much effort, prayer, and obedience on our part. God’s will may bring difficulty, but His will is what’s best for us and what will bring Him glory and honor.

What the Bible Says about Being Called in Joshua 1

After Moses died, God called Joshua to rise up and lead His people. In Joshua 1, we see that God specifically spoke to Joshua, challenging him to walk ahead into his calling with strength and courage. Joshua was able to do just that because Joshua’s confidence was in God alone. Joshua’s name means, “God delivers,” and his trust and obedience in God and His calling proved that Joshua believed that God would deliver, lead, and guide the people into the Promised Land. 

In this passage, we also see that God never left the people or Joshua on their own. His presence always led and guided their path. This includes their time in the wilderness, when they wandered for 40 years, wondering when their relief and deliverance would come. It also includes the time that God led them right into the Promised Land, after the many years of faith that God would do what He promised. 

Joshua and the people of God were able to know God’s promises and walk in faith because they knew God’s Word. God commanded them this: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8) They knew they were called into the Promised Land, but they were able to trust God and His promises because they knew His Word. They meditated on it, memorized it, read it daily. His Word was their leading force and was what was able to be what gave them the strength and courage that it took to go out into the Promised Land in faith.

When Joshua told the people what God was calling them to do, they responded with, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses.” (Joshua 1:16-17) They trusted that God would be with them as they walked ahead in faith, and God was. He never left them. In turn, Joshua’s life and calling, and the Israelites’ lives and calling, were defined by God’s presence. God’s presence was the distinguishing factor in their lives and was visible to everyone around them.

What is God calling you to? 

As Christ-followers, we are all called to something. We all have a specific purpose for our lives, and God longs for us to trust Him and walk in obedience into that purpose and calling. It starts with us reading His Word. Like the Israelites and Joshua, we must put His Word at the forefront of our hearts and minds. It’s His Word that has the power to change us and reveal to us what our calling is. 

Then, we must trust that God’s presence will be with us. Joshua 1:5 says,No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God’s words to Joshua here are also His words to us. He will be with us. He will never leave or forsake us. This should empower us to go out into the world, uncertain and terrifying as it may be at times, in faith and assurance that our God – the God of Armies – is on our side. He is leading us. He is at our right hand. He will not let us be shaken. 

What is God calling you to? Are you listening? Be obedient to His calling and wait to see how He uses you, like He used Moses and Joshua, to fulfill His purpose and further His Kingdom.

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