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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’”—Joshua 3:7–8 (NLT)
In today’s passage, we see a very powerful biblical principle on full display: God equips the called. The Lord tells Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites.” The expression “make you a great leader” comes from the Hebrew word which means to promote, advance, magnify, exalt, and make greater. In its most basic root, the word was used to describe “the twisting a cord to make it firm and strong.” I love that picture. God is basically saying to Joshua that He will take His humble servant and, like a fine artisan rope, make him into a strong, durable, high quality tool to accomplish a great task. This is what God does! When He calls us to something, He builds us up, trains us, equips us, and then empowers us to carry it out.
You see, God doesn’t need you to come to Him as the world’s strongest rope in order to be used by Him . . . He just needs you to come humbly, open, and with a heart to serve Him in the same manner as Isaiah, who said, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8 ESV) or Mary, who said, "I am the Lord's servant" (Luke 1:38 NIV) or Jesus, who said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will” (Hebrews 10:9 NIV). When we come before the Lord in this way He can take these humble pieces of clay and make them into a vessel that carries the living water to those who need it.
My friends, when the Lord builds us up as He did Joshua and accomplishes His work in and through us, the world will know, as the Israelites knew, that “I am with you, just as I was with Moses.” As the Holy Spirit filled Peter to the point that “the members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures” (Acts 4:13 NLT), He will also fill you. And the same thing that was said about the apostles being recognized as men who had been with Jesus will also be said about you!
I pray that we will be a people that the Lord would use as He did Joshua, that He would be glorified through us, and that all those who encounter us would know that He is with us.
DIG: Can you think of biblical examples, like Joshua, of people the Lord used, that He magnified and raised up to accomplish His great work? What did they all have in common?
DISCOVER: How have you seen the Lord empower and increase you or someone you know to accomplish His work?
DO: Pray this simple prayer today from the heart and truly mean it with all sincerity: “Here I am, I have come to do your will.”
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.