Joshua and God's Promise (The Story: Chapter 7)

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous... (Joshua 1:5-6)

I am always amazed as I read Joshua's conversation with God. Joshua is given the awesome responsibility of leading two million Israelites to Canaan to take the land God was giving to them. He was Moses' aide, so he saw the challenges of leadership through the wilderness: grumbling, confusion, discomfort, competing alliances, sacrifice and wandering. 

Joshua needed some reassurance, some confidence that he could fulfill his role as a leader. So God gives him a promise and the people give him a promise. God says "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you." The people said, "As we were with Moses, so we will be with you." 

I like God's promise a little better. 

God was with Moses in personal and powerful ways. He went with Moses. He worked through Moses. He listened to Moses' pleas for his people. And Moses was a faithful leader.

At the end of his life he graciously meets with the people and tells God's story from slavery in Egypt to wandering in the wilderness to passing on leadership to the next generation. 

In the end, Moses died knowing, even though he would not enter the promised land, he had fulfilled his calling and God used him. 

God was with Joshua as we was with Moses, not in the exact details, but in the way God surprised him and supplied him with all he needed. Joshua and the Israelites were able to attach themselves to God, gaining strength and encouragement to do what they had never done before.  

The end of life was as sweet for Joshua as it was for Moses. Like Moses, he gathers Israel together and tells God's story again. Reminding the next generation of the powerful God. "Your children will ask what these stones mean. And you will tell them of how God brought us across the Jordan into this land." 

He passes on the stories of faith to the next generation, entrusting the story to be told to their children and their children's children. And then he dies like Moses, knowing he had served his generation and prepared the next generation to follow God.

God makes it fairly simple for us. He promises his presence. He wants us to stay in step with him, gaining strength and courage to step out in the ways we believe he is calling us. And our faithfulness has an impact on the next generation.

Our building campaign is called Generations, because we said at the very beginning that we wanted to do in our generation what others had done in their generation to be faithful to God. The early stories of meeting in the Community Center in Solana Beach, or a military chapel moved to two residential lots west of 101, or buying five acres at our current location are all evidence of God being present with a community of faith and giving strength and courage to follow him by faith. 

In our new patio there is a fountain with stones from the original sanctuary built in 1959. I hope every Sunday someone asks "what do those stones mean?" and someone will be able to tell the story. And that story will spark another story of God's faithfulness in our generation that will be passed on to the next.

It's by God's grace that I'm even here today... 

I didn't know where I was going, but God was there every step of the way... 

I don't know what I'd do without the friends who introduced me to Christ... 

I didn't think I'd make it through my illness, but it was as if God was carrying me...

I found this church at just the right time...

I didn't know God could give me so much purpose in serving others...

God kept his promise to Joshua. 

God keeps his promise to us.

Check out message video and audio and The Story resources at www.solanapres.org/audio

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