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Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

From the voice of God to your ears, spoken so long ago and yet still just as powerful today. God had just told Joshua to cross the Jordan river and possess the land of promise. What trust there must have been to take those steps toward the Jordan? Remember that Joshua, now 80 years old, was 40 when God split the Red Sea. He knew that if God gave direction to cross, He would make a way, even if they all had to walk on water. One thing Joshua knew was that NOTHING was impossible with God.

We need that kind of faith in God. We must know that God orders our steps and always delivers on His promises. We must be a friend of Gods, walking and talking with Him, listening and obeying Him. It must be about Him and His Kingdom, not about me and my four and no more, building my home, working for me and mine.  God wants our fellowship and service. He has plans that we must partner with Him to accomplish.  His Kingdom is about others, not about me. As long as my focus is outward instead of inward, I will succeed in all I do.

Let’s look at verse 11; “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.’” After Joshua received his instruction from the Lord, he came into agreement with it and gave instructions to the people. So important here that we understand that it’s one thing to hear, it’s another to obey. He also spoke to the mighty men of valor, to arm themselves and pass before the people. Think about how empowering it is to know your troops are there to defend you. Listen to what those mighty men said to Joshua in verses 16-18; So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses.  Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”

Wow! I wonder how it would make our pastors feel if their leadership were behind their vision as these men were behind Joshua. Oh that it were legal to deal with rebellion by eliminating the rebels. I think back then they realized the importance of dealing with rebellion and keeping it from among the people. A little yeast affects the whole lump of dough and there is no way to get it out once it’s in except to throw it away and begin again. To know that there is only ONE leader in the church. ONE! and he answers to God for the vision and directive. We need to encourage and pray for our pastor, that God protects the vision and the visionary. That even if he commands us to go cross over Tampa Bay, we gather our supplies and get ready to go. We need to realize that He hears from God and trust the God in him to work out all the details.

So today, I pray for our pastors and leaders. I honor every man and woman in a place of authority over our churches, our cities, our nation. They answer to you, Lord. I will not murmur or complain about things that are out of my control.  I pray that you give them wisdom, clarity of vision and direction. We know that it’s always about your plans and purposes for our community and our nation. There is never anything that escapes your attention. You appoint who you will and direct them toward your goals. The end will always result  in your Kingdom being established in the earth. Forgive us for our rebellion. Forgive us for complaining. Forgive us for treating them as common or ordinary, for dishonoring our pastors and leaders. We pray that your had would continually be upon them, lead and guide them into all truth. Speak, Holy Spirit, in your still small voice and remove obstructions from their ears that they may hear clearly your decrees to them. Give them a heart to obey and give them mighty men of valor to stand behind them. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

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