By Chaplain (Capt.) Gill Price, 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry BrigadeApril 8, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. (April 8, 2018) -- In this week's Chaplain's Corner, Chaplain (Capt.) Gill Price, 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade, talks about the biblical Joshua and orienting your future according to God's plan.
Walking into 3rd Platoon's command post for the first time, I had a million questions running through my mind. I was a brand new second lieutenant 7,000 miles from home starting my first job in the Army: "Do I have what it takes? Will I know enough to lead? Am I ready to step into leadership?" These were the questions that residing in the pit in my stomach. I was excited about what future opportunities might come, yet simultaneously terrified about failing miserably.
Maybe you have experienced that mixture of excitement and fear in starting something new or doing something unknown -- perhaps with more fear than excitement.
I imagine the biblical Joshua felt that same sense of fear and excitement as he assumed the mantle of leadership for the people of Israel. He followed in the footstep of Moses, probably one of the greatest leaders of all time. Moses had rescued a people from slavery in a foreign nation, given this mass of refugees an identity as a unified people, made laws and set up a court system, wrote the first five books of the Bible, and acted as an intermediary between God and the people. That is a hard act to follow.
When Moses died, Joshua was the designated leader. Even though Joshua had served as Moses' second-in-command for years and was familiar with the demands of leading the people of Israel, stepping into leadership was daunting. Perhaps Joshua asked the same questions: "Do I have what it takes? Do I know enough? Am I ready?" Joshua 1:1-9 records the conversation between God and Joshua that went something like this: "Joshua, get up and lead this people to the land that I promised Moses. Be strong and take courage, because I will be with you. Pay close attention and follow the way that I have provided for you. Do these things, and I will do all that I have promised: to bless you immensely."
God offered Joshua three truths: a promise, an encouragement, and a command. First, He promised His Presence. "Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you…" (1:5). Twice more God promised to be with Joshua and his people (1:5, 1:9) so that they might have confidence. Second, God's encouragement was grounded in God's truth. Three times God told Joshua to "be strong and courageous" in order to face the challenges that lay ahead (1:6, 1:7, 1:9). Joshua could take courage because he believed God, and he believed God because he had encountered the Presence of God. Finally, God instructed Joshua to obey God's commandments. The verses of Joshua 1:7-9 encourage Joshua and the people to know and do all that God commanded them. He designed the world, so He knows how it works best. He gives us a map on how to successfully navigate life, career and relationships. When we navigate according to the map, we get to where He wants us to go: a life of incredible blessing. When we try and navigate in the blind, we quickly get lost.
When we face the questions, "Do I have what it takes? Do I know enough? Am I ready?" God answers, "I am with you," "Take courage," "Walk in My way." He promises His Presence. He encourages us with belief in Him. He commands that we learn and do His will so that He may us bless richly.
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