Please Read Joshua, Study One
I think it’s important to note that Joshua did not have time to celebrate his promotion. Why? Because he was the right man for the job, and that job needed to be done. That’s why people get promotions.
For instance, in business, a man gets promoted into the office of “Head of Marketing.” It is then expected by the company for him to get going. To dive into the job and make things work. Even if it is just to ensure that what is currently being done continues.
New Seasons = Promotions
Which brings us to our life in Christ. Many times we are brought into a “new season” with Jesus. He has worked with us to bring our maturity and spiritual wisdom to a place where we can do more than just warm a pew in church.
Promotion is a very good thing to gauge our lives by. If we are not getting promotions (small or great), we might find it a good time to re-consider our motivations. As mentioned, in the business world, promotions come as one begins to know the job better (altruistic or preferences via the boss aside). When we begin to get it and earn the ability to handle more, promotions start to appear.
In the Kingdom of God, it can be similar. Though our works do count toward a spiritual type of wage (Rom. 4:4), it is imperative that we always keep in mind that promotions in the Kingdom do not equate to salvation. God’s love for us changes not by what we accomplish. But our desire to do more for God and the work we put in will often mean a promotion (wage/payment).
Those are the similarities. But there are great differences from there. A promotion in the business world can mean more authority, better pay, nicer things, better vacations, and more. Promotions in the Kingdom can mean more authority. It can, often, mean better pay as well. But when God promotes you, it’s not to achieve greater worldly success but greater Heavenly success, which can bring a harder life, fewer possessions, less popularity, and lower pay.
For instance, a man and a woman serve God faithfully, and He calls them to the mission field in some third-world country. They give up their life at home, their jobs, their nice cars, and so on. It’s a promotion in the Kingdom, but in the flesh, it’s a demotion. A step backward because the world sees success through very narrow lenses.
Time For Work
Joshua is immediately given a task:
“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel” (Josh. 1:2, NKJV).
Joshua does as he is told. He gathers the leaders together and passes the order down (vs. 10). Notice how he references Moses?
John Maxwell told of a time that he had been a pastor. He had a number of people in the church who tried to run the show. He worked with them for a while, and slowly, he began to get them on board with what was happening. He did it in such a way that they were involved. They felt like they were part of the team.
After some years, he was moving onto to other things, and he had a sit-down with the incoming pastor. He explained these individuals to the man and how it was important to work with them.
The new pastor wanted nothing to do with that. “When I take over, I will explain to them how they will toe the line and do as they are told.”
Maxwell dropped his head into his hands and prayed quietly, “God this is a stupid, stupid man.” And it wasn’t long after that when the church in question was seriously struggling.
Notice what Joshua does as he takes leadership? He points to the thing Moses had in place. He didn’t try to change everything!
In our promotions, it is vital that we realize God has a plan. We don’t need to show up and change everything. God may have a new plan to work and operate through you in your promotion. It may be that He is going to shift things under your leadership. Which, ultimately, He did under Joshua. Yet what if he had shown up and announced something like, “Okay, I’m in charge now. Things are going to be different”? He would have had a very difficult result.
God will announce what needs to be announced. I leave you with this passage. Jesus addressed this in what might be called “good advice.” In Luke 14, to paraphrase, Jesus had gone to a wealthy person’s home to eat. A lot of important people had come as well. In that culture, certain places around the dinner table were chosen as places of honor. Jesus watched as all these “uppities” took those best places. This is what He had to say in response:
“But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:10-11, NKJV).
You needn’t announce your promotion. You need only accept it, step into it, and charge on for the Kingdom!
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on authormrdavenport.wixsite.com/mrdavenport
Featured Image by Samuel Zeller