Spending Time with God
We are starting a new series today! Over the next few weeks we will be talking about Kingdom Men who advanced their Kingdom work through training, trials, patience and dependency on God. We will be focusing on: Joshua, King David, John the Baptist, Paul, and of course, Jesus. These men, save one, were flawed. They made what some would consider to be disqualifying choices and mistakes, and yet God used each them mightily to bring glory to Himself and save souls across the world. But this didn’t come overnight. They, even Jesus, had their faith and habits forged through training. As Kingdom Men, we are also being forged on the training grounds of our homes, family, work, delays and disappointments. Together we will unpack through these men how God continues to train each of us.
“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.”
~Exodus 33:11 NIV
Joshua was a brilliant military leader and a strong spiritual influencer of the nation of Israel. The key to his success was submission to God. When God spoke, Joshua listened and obeyed. Joshua is an incredible model for us as a Kingdom man. This next few days we will dive into the training that shaped him to be faithful to God throughout his life.
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu’a) meaning “YAHWEH is salvation”, from the roots יְהוֹ (yeho) referring to the Hebrew God and יָשַׁע (yasha’) meaning “to save”. … After Moses died Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites and he led the conquest of Canaan.
His original name was Hoshea. Sometimes we see something in scripture with a new understanding. When we do, it is important to hit the pause button for deeper reflection. When I read that God talked face to face with Moses, as a friend, it was easy for me to overlook that Joshua was there as well and STAYED…but here’s what intrigued me; Was Joshua in the tent, outside the tent, how long did he stay when Moses went back to camp, why did Moses take Joshua, or did he instruct Joshua to stay there? We do not really have the details on this matter, however, we do know that Joshua was the mentee, protégé, and successor to Moses, and that his extra time spent with God is significant. Because of the purity and sincerity of Joshua’s heart when tasked to spy out the promised land, his faith in God, along with Caleb led him to motivate the Israelites to conquer the fierce tribes inhabiting Canaan. There is no scriptural evidence that God spoke to Joshua before Moses’ death, but Joshua knew his voice well for the time spent at the tent, soaking in God’s presence!
- A godly leader spends time in the Tent of Meeting, refusing to leave. If one remains in the place of prayer, intent on being in intimate fellowship with God, one will be better prepared to answer the call of God to step into His kingdom purposes when the time is right. The place of prayer for Joshua was first and foremost the place of God’s presence…but it was also a place of preparation which ultimately led to greater things than Joshua ever could have imagined.
- A godly leader accepts that mantle as a humble, obedient servant. Joshua could have boasted about his position as Moses’ right hand man, yet he was more interested in spending time with God in the Tent of Meeting than touting his own influence and importance before others. He had leadership qualities, but placed his dependence upon God alone.
- A godly leader believes and trusts God wholeheartedly. Joshua trusted the promise of God and was not afraid to voice his confidence to the people of Israel when they expressed their fear and anxiety to Moses about the fierce tribes standing in their way. He was one of only two of the twelve spies who trusted that God could overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
- A godly leader is chosen and equipped for God’s tasks. God was pleased to pour out His Spirit upon Joshua, His chosen successor to Moses. Joshua was specifically anointed and commissioned for his leadership role.
- A godly leader waits patiently for God’s timing and is fully prepared when the time comes. Joshua was being positioned by God to take the people of Israel into the Promised Land…something Moses had lost the privilege of doing due to his own disobedience. Joshua didn’t rush the process, but patiently waited for God’s plans to play out at the appointed time.
Have you been lingering in the “tent” with God? Most of us would admit to being pulled in many different directions, even though we no longer have to go to a physical tent to meet with the Father. God has made it possible to meet with Him in any given moment because He has made His home with us. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are now the dwelling place of God. And just like Joshua, we do not need to be afraid because God will not fail us if we will be “strong and courageous.” I need to go to my tent and spend time.
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.””
Joshua 1:5-9 NIV