“Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise…” (Joshua 1:2a – King James Version).
I watched a dear friend, who had several siblings, handle the estate of her deceased parent. Though my friend was not the oldest sibling, she handled the affairs of the estate during a very trying time. There was much work to be done. She had to do such things as: handle outstanding bills, transfer deeds and accounts, clean out household goods for storage, deal with attorneys, as well as a host of other duties. It was a tremendous undertaking, but was one that had to be done. Imagine all the things that would have gone undone, or taken longer to do, had that wonderful lady not risen to the occasion of taking care of her family.
This is where we find Joshua. Moses had just passed away and the people needed leadership. God called Joshua to step up and take care of His people.
Stop; think for a moment of some saint that has meant much to you in your relationship with God who has gone on to be with the Lord. It may be a former Sunday School teacher, pastor, deacon, mission group leader, or a fellow brother or sister in the Lord who has taken time to share God with you. Who has taken up their torch of service? Who will? Will you?
You may be thinking, “I am not qualified!” You are right! The good news is that God does not choose who is qualified, but chooses whom HE will. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew to be His disciples He said, “…Follow me, and I WILL MAKE YOU fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 – KJV – emphasis mine). If you step up in service, God will qualify you as you follow His lead. God will give you the needed skills and He will provide the power and the results.
That’s also what He told Joshua. God realized Joshua’s fears. We can see, in the Scripture, that God told Joshua to be strong and have courage (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9). Joshua was told not to give in to his fears about the task God gave him (Joshua 1:9). God promised Joshua that, if Joshua served Him, He would be with Him to assure success (Joshua 1:5-10).
Even today, in the same way, God realizes our fears about serving Him. As Christ was about to ascend into heaven, He passed the torch of His earthly ministry onto His disciples saying, “…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20b). Though our fears are real, He is just as real and very able to help us.
There are a great many ministries that YOU can step up and serve in. Will you? Many saints have taken the torch since Joshua. The time has come for YOU to “arise” and take up the mantle of service.