“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’”—Deuteronomy 31:7-8
During the past few years, several popular college football and basketball coaches have been allowed to name successors to follow them when they retire. In most cases, it has not worked out well. Even though these replacements are good coaches, it is often difficult to follow a legend.
Joshua stepped into some of the biggest shoes ever, following Moses as the leader of the Israelites. Moses had a relationship with God that was more intimate than any leader in history. At one point, his face glowed because of the time he had spent in the presence of God.
Before he died, Moses left Joshua with wonderful words of encouragement in front of all of Israel: Allow God to lead, and God will give success to Joshua and the nation of Israel. Joshua had proven himself to be faithful to God as a young spy sent to investigate the Promised Land. His obedience extended throughout his life. Israel obeyed the Lord during the time of Joshua, and they were able to take possession of the Promised Land.
Joshua’s success did not come because Moses named him his successor, but because Joshua obeyed God. We also can experience God’s leading in our lives by being faithful to Him. As you seek to follow God, may the words with which he encouraged Joshua encourage you, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
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