Book of Joshua — The Call of Allegiance

6 “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. 7 Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. 8 But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.” (Joshua 23:6-8, NIV)

The call of God for the people of Israel was the call of allegiance. It takes strength and resolve to follow God. It means turning aside from all other possible allegiances. For Israel, the purpose of not mixing with other nations at the beginning was the realization that God was calling them to himself. Other allegiances would call out to them and they needed as few distractions as possible.
The Kingdom of God is a call for allegiance. He is not one among many gods, or many “priority.” The Kingdom of God IS the priority.
The Lord has cleared out all obstacles. He has cleared away all enemies. He has cleared a path for us to the Kingdom. Why do we want to keep dragging other allegiances along?

It’s not how you begin, it’s how you end

Caleb’s story in the Book of Joshua is incredible. The lives of Moses, Joshua, and Caleb should ALL ring out to us.

I love spending time getting young adults started in ministry, but my mantra is this: “It’s not about how you begin. It’s how you end.”

Caleb is that example. He was 85 years old when it was time to go into Canaan and claim his land. He didn’t want anyone else doing it for him. He did it himself. 

We need these examples. We should not think in our own minds, “Oh, I’ve reached a certain age and it’s time for someone else to do this.”

Nor should we shelve people because they reach a certain age.

It’s about the finish. 

Paul didn’t brag about the start of his race. He reflected thankfully on the finish. 

Caleb ended well. He had kept the faith through 40 years of wilderness wondering. He wasn’t bitter because he was one of the spies who said it was doable 40 years ago, and now Israel’s disobedience had delayed his inheritance. He stayed faithful. He claimed his land.

He finished well.

 

Book of Joshua — Be Strong and Courageous

“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 theLord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Josh. 1:7-9, NIV)

We begin our summer reading journey at Heights Church with the Book of Joshua. The key verses I see for the book are what I placed above: Joshua 1:7-9. 
 
Israel is shifting from the daily provision of God in the form of manna and the leadership of Moses to the provision Israel will get off the land they conquer and the leadership of Joshua. It is a time of shifts. 
 
The American Church is in a radical time of shifting. We need to understand the new shifts we must deal with as believers. 
 
But there are things that should not change. We should not “shift” in our reliance on God and his Word. We should understand that we must continue to live in the power of the Spirit… and call out to God to rely on his Spirit even more. We should not “shift” in our commitment to the Kingdom of God. 
 
Read the Book of Joshua with the understanding of “shifts” and see how you can apply some of the reading to our own day.