“Get up. Get going.” A message from God to Joshua Chapter 1 to move the Israelites into the Promise Land. The Message Bible says, “Moses my servant is dead. Get going.” Wow – seems a bit harsh. Joshua didn’t have time to say, “But God…….” He might have tried, but I wasn’t there, so I don’t know. That is what ‘I’ would be saying in Leslie’s thought bubble – “I don’t want to go. I don’t want to move. I am sad. I am feeling the loss of our leader.” All the ‘I’ things. God must have known that Joshua would be feeling a little less than 100%, because He tells Joshua these words – “I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage!” It is almost like Joshua chapter 1 is a big pep rally from God to Joshua. Remember pep rallies? Oh, I do – as you might have guessed, I was a cheerleader. Not just in High School, but also for the Braves of West Georgia College (UWG). I know that UWG now has the mascot of “Wolves”. That should tell you how long ago I was there. Graduated in 1985 from West Georgia College. We didn’t really have Pep Rallies in College. Maybe at Homecoming, but high school pep rallies were totally “a thing”. The football players (or fill in the blank for whatever team sport) would walk in and sit in their place of honor on the gym floor in front of all of the students. Then it was our job (as well as the band and the best high school motivational speaker ) for the next 20-30 minutes to get them ready for the big game. Sometimes we were asking for a miracle -My senior year at South Cobb High School, our football team won 1 game – and that was homecoming against our biggest rival, Pebblebrook. So, if we had to win one, that would have been the game. May I veer off topic here and say that my Rex was the quarterback of that team, and I was the head cheerleader. Yea, we were that sickening. He was most popular, and I was homecoming queen.
Ok – back to topic. So, God’s “pep rally” for Joshua was just beginning for you see, he had a heavy task in front of him. It was going to be his job to be the new leader of the Israelites and move them into the Promised Land. I love how God tells him, “Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going.” That speaks right there. How many of us are off track – we have veered too far left or right – we don’t know where we are going. If you are in that state of mind for whatever reason, then God’s Words to Joshua would have never worked for you – remember how this whole story started? God said, “Get going.” If you happen to be too far off track, then those words will not help – you are stuck. For whatever reason. Pastor Todd at Midway Church (where I attend church) preached an incredible sermon on this very topic. “Being stuck”. The answer to helping you get “unstuck” follows in this same story. “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it.” Nothing helps like a good play book. South Cobb High School had it against Pebblebrook. But God’s Word is so much better than any play book that we can devise on our own. He has given us instruction so that we will know how to “get going”. We will know how to proceed with “strength and courage.” I don’t think this game for Joshua was ever going to be easy – and I am pretty sure it wasn’t. But I do know this. He had Someone on the sidelines with him, that knew the end of the story, that continued to fill his spirit with “Be strong, Be courageous”. Joshua just had to trust the Author of the Play Book and “get going.”
What do you need to leave behind today to get yourself going in the right direction? Have you veered too far left, or right? Have you put your trust in things other than the official Play Book – God’s Word? I invite you. Don’t turn either way – meditate on It – day and night. Be quiet and listen to what God is trying to tell you. Only then will you be strong and courageous enough to get moving again. It just takes one step at a time.