Do you remember the first time you met your best friend? Sometimes after spending time with one another, you almost feel like you never knew what life was like before you had met.
The same thing can happen to us in our Bible reading. We become so familiar with some fabulous people in Scripture, we overlook their introduction. It says in Exodus 17:9, “And Moses said unto Joshua…” His name appears many more times, but this crucial figure suddenly bursts on the scene in the Bible with a monumental task—defeat Amalek. Take note of the powerful moments which fashion this young man into a courageous leader.
Joshua had to learn to worship. In a few chapters, Moses encounters the Lord palpably in the Tabernacle. They speak “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11). Then Moses turns to go his way in the camp, but Joshua lingers. He wanted to sear his memory with this signature moment. He may have only been a spectator of a crucial conversation, but he craved the same access to God Moses had.
Joshua had to learn to work. In Exodus 24, Moses conferences with the Lord on Mount Sinai, and Joshua, his attendant, travels with Moses part of the way. Moses is up on the mountain for forty days and nights, while Joshua seems to wait in the wing the entire time. Do you think Joshua could have found better things to do for forty days and nights? He certainly could have ventured a few alternatives, but faithful service was his task.
Joshua had to learn to war. This is where we are introduced to Joshua, and in God’s development program this is where we all must begin as well. The enemy wanted to route the Israelites. They had already taken advantage of the weak and feeble. Now they were going in for the kill. Someone needed to lead the novice army into battle. This was not a task for the faint of heart. Moses taps Joshua.
In your life, God is training you through worship, work, and war. Worship is more than attendance on Sunday. It is the desire of your heart to linger with the Lord a little longer. Work is not your nine-to-five, bringing-home-the-bacon work. No, our work is to do the will of the Father. We may have to carry on indefinitely, but our objective is faithfulness. War is more than active combat. It involves preparation, too. It means taking advantage of every opportunity to sharpen your skills as you lead your family. It means living soberly and circumspectly knowing the enemy desires to sift you like wheat. It means prioritizing the best things which train up your loved ones and yourself in the things of the Lord instead of the frivolous things of the world.
Where have all the leaders gone? Where are the modern-day Joshua’s? Too many believers flunk out of God’s leadership training. Will you learn to war, work, and worship?