Joshua, the Greatest Preparation

Searching His Word
 Seeking His Heart

We caught a glimpse of Joshua last week and actions God used to prepare this young man for greater challenges ahead. (See Joshua – Preparation) Battles in the desert were few, however, the Amalekites came to fight and Joshua was called on to protect his people.

We also learned that Joshua joined eleven other spies to have a peek at the Promised Land to check it out. This trip whet his appetite. Joshua and Caleb were ready to take the land with the assurance of God’s help, but the other ten spies vetoed the idea, so they ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 more years.

During that time, Joshua became Moses’ right hand man. He watched Moses deal with the people, but more than that, he witnessed Moses’ devotion to God.

When other leaders were told they could come to the foot of Mt. Sinai and no farther, Moses told Joshua to come on up the mountain with him.

      

What was that like to be so deeply in the presence of Almighty God? What sounds did he hear? What smells? What sights? What was the feel of the air? How were Joshua’s emotions affected by the deep presence of God? It gives the true meaning to the word “awesome.” (A word we have horribly trivialized.)

What did the people feel, even at a distance,?

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled in fear. Exodus 2018

After Moses came down from the mountain with Joshua, the people said,

“Speak to us yourself, Moses, and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Exodus 20:19

I have felt my spirit warmed enough by His Spirit that I dedicated myself to a task He ask of me. I have sensed God working in circumstances in my life, but Joshua’s experience with Moses and with God gives new meaning to having a “mountain top” experience.

Even in the tent of meeting, God spoke to Moses with Joshua close by. (Exodus 33:11) I believe these moments in God’s presence provided the greatest preparation Joshua could ever have.

And so it is with us. Our experiences may not be as dramatic as Joshua’s, but the Lord can warm our hearts, give divine direction, and fill us with courage beyond ourselves if we will just walk to the mountain and seek His holy presence.

Are you young? Wondering what work path to follow? The right person to marry? God offers guidance.

Are you knee deep in marriage, dealing with your children, juggling it all with work issues? God can help you sort it out.

Have you lost your spouse? Are you losing your youthful health, wondering about next steps? He’s still there to lead you and bring fulfillment.

Come to the mountain. Drink deeply from the rich source of His presence. Cry out to Him; He’s ready to infuse your life.

~ Joyce ~

What Are You Looking For?

              Searching His Word
                          Seeking His Heart

As you begin a new year, what will you be looking for? Will your eyes be open for new ideas or challenges the Lord might put in your path?

I think about the magi who came from the east to find the Christ child. I have so many questions about them. Who were they? From what part of the “east” did they come? How did they know about a newborn baby, particularly a king of the Jews? Why did they even care—care enough to make the long trek probably through desert to find him?

In studying different scholarly ideas, the ones that make the most sense to me is that these magi were more like scientific astrologers who made serious study of the stars. Since they had knowledge of Jewish ways and awareness of the prophecy of a coming Messiah, it seems reasonable that they may have been descendants of those who knew the captured Jews who brought to Persia in Daniel’s day.

One thought is that they knew the names of Jewish constellations that represented things like the Lion of Judah or a constellation that represented the righteous one, the Virgin, or the Lamb. Perhaps they had come to recognize these and noted their locations in the heavens.

Perhaps, before the birth of Jesus, the magi began to notice a change in location of these constellations. They were moving closer to each other. Finally, one one night, they had joined together to form one bright star. Putting all this together, they surmised that this meant the promised Messiah had been born.

The main point here is that they faithfully watched and anticipated. So sure of this, they decided to make the trip to Israel to find the child, even worship him.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2

As they discover that the prophecy says Bethlehem is the designated place of birth, they head that way and are delighted to see the star appear to them once again. Such an affirmation.

They eventually find the one they have been looking for. By this time, he is a child not a baby. He is found in a house not a manger. Their first inclination is to fall down and worship him.

All of this happened because they were looking, studying, thinking about the signs given them by God.

I ask my question again. What are you looking for? If we are serious about God’s leadership in our lives, we must be looking, searching for His signs, seeking His heart. And that, my friends, is why I offer this blog to you each week, that you might join me in 

Searching His Word, Seeking His Heart.

May it be so for us all. Happy New Year!

~ Joyce ~