The Final Charge

Now it came to pass, a long time after the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua was old, advanced in age. And Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers, and said to them: ‘I am old, advanced in age. You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has fought for you.”—Joshua 23:1-3 (NKJV)

My husband and I were incredibly inspired to live with greater purpose after touring the Billy Graham Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina and seeing his legacy. Not long after our visit, Reverend Graham took his last breath and entered into glory to meet His Savior face to face. The two of us sat glued to the television all week watching family interviews and his memorial service. What an incredible testament to the power of a life fully committed to God! In his final message to the world, Graham said: “I hope I will be remembered as someone who was faithful—faithful to God, faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and faithful to the calling God gave me not only as an evangelist, but as a husband, father, and friend.” 

Joshua, the valiant leader, has fought the good fight until the end. Now, he is preparing to lay his sword down and finally meet His God in the heavenly Promised Land. The warrior knows he has one last battle to fight. He must wage war for the souls of men by speaking a word of wisdom over their lives. He extends an invitation to all the leaders in Israel to gather at his side and encourages them to remember God alone is their source of strength. His final charge to the people in his care is to not grow complacent and fully consecrate their lives to Yahweh.  

Joshua felt compelled to warn those coming behind him to not deceive themselves and depart from the ways of the Lord. Their success was not a result of military prowess or strategic leadership. God alone was their salvation. They must always call on Almighty God for their marching orders and follow His banner into battle. 

To leave a lasting legacy, our every decision must be fully yielded to God. Reverend Graham and Joshua lived “all in” to seek God and to serve His people. They listened to the Word of the Lord, let God’s will determine their steps, and loved Him with all of their hearts. Today we can purpose to take up their charge and pursue Christ above all else. May our faithful obedience to the one true God stand as the final testament of our lives.  

DIG: Read 1 Kings 2:1-3. How did David’s final words to Solomon correspond with Joshua’s final charge? 

DISCOVER: Read 2 Timothy 4:1-8. Write out verse 7 on a 3×5 card and read it every morning this week. Spend time in prayer asking God to give you Paul’s purposeful resolve.

DO: Invite a friend who is fighting a fierce spiritual battle to join you for coffee this week and share how you have seen your faithful God fight for you in the past. 

About the Author

Lyli Dunbar