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October 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, ‘Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, “Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.”’”—Joshua 1:10-11 (NKJV)
Joshua, the newly commissioned leader of the children of Israel, had received his marching orders! God had personally told Joshua to lead the campaign to possess the land that He’d promised to his ancestors. After many decades of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob living as nomads, after four hundred years in Egypt, and after forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the time had finally come!
Joshua’s response is very insightful for us, because it gives us some directional cues on how we should react to receiving our marching orders.
First of all, consider how Joshua doesn’t argue with God. Interestingly, that was exactly what Joshua’s predecessor, Moses, did. But not Joshua; he didn’t enter into a dialog with God about it. “Gee God, are you really sure this is a good idea, or that I’m the right guy for this? Are you possibly confusing me with someone else?” There’s none of that. He receives the command as just that, a command, not something to be second-guessed.
The next thing we see is Joshua obediently acting in faith. The instructions were shared with his military officers, who were to in turn share the news with the people that it was time to mobilize and make ready for the journey ahead. That takes real faith, because once Joshua shared this, it would set things in motion. There would be no chance to take it back without looking foolish and losing the necessary respect to lead.
But notice the final point in Joshua’s response. He brings God into the picture. He tells them they’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, but God is on the other side of it, waiting to bless them. That’s so critical, because it ultimately points people to the Lord and His purposes for them. Joshua didn’t dictate that everyone break camp because he said so, but because this is part of what God was doing!
God gives all of us marching orders one way or another. He may be telling us to share our faith with someone, He might be leading us to relocate, or perhaps He’s calling us to sacrificially invest in someone or something. Whatever your marching orders are, remember what we see in Joshua’s response: He didn’t argue with God, he moved forward in faith, and he pointed people to the Lord and His purposes.
DIG: What three things do we notice in Joshua’s response to his marching orders?
DISCOVER: What is God calling you to do at this point in your life?
DO: Outline how you can pattern your life after Joshua’s response.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.