Joshua is no longer the timid leader who needs a nudge to be courageous. The battles fought have been numerous and the hand of God has been evident in every experience. His experiential uniform is fitted with numerous conquests. Then, a potentially emotionally and physically exhausted Joshua receives an invitation to participate with God in His yet unfinished work. He is still on God’s list of leaders fit for the mission.
Joshua’s tenure began as a continuation of Moses’s call in Exodus, and his work would have a lasting impact even beyond his own lifetime. God calls and invites us all into the work of advancing His kingdom, to continue the journey of experiencing His power by committing ourselves to whatever He ordains. The victories experienced do not thwart the essential aspect of what the children of Israel are heading toward: being the representative people of God for His glory.
God summons Joshua to say there is still more work to do. Victory at Jericho and walking on dry ground through the terrain of the Jordan were crucial, but there is always more with God. His track record in our lives should display the true origin of any success: God alone. His faithfulness in the past encourages us to trust Him in the present and future.
When He declares that the victory will once again not be on anyone’s merit but by His power and capacity, God is claiming responsibility for future success: “I will drive them out before the Israelites” (Joshua 13:6). His work in Joshua has been accomplished, evidenced by Joshua’s obedience, and new ventures will require this same posture. Moving forward and venturing into the unknown invites us away from our preoccupation with merit and into experiencing the power of the Almighty.
The greatest victory for the children of Israel rests in their status of belonging to God. “The LORD, the God of Israel, was their inheritance, just as he had promised them” (Joshua 13:33), and just as He promises to be ours. The accumulation of possessions can potentially cloud our perspective of our greatest gift as His people. Prosperity and victory alone do not define our relationship with God. We must learn to see that He Himself is sufficient—not what He does for us. Are you up to the challenge of deepening your experience with God? Beyond victories and blessings, is God enough? Our beginning is not God’s start; neither is our end God’s conclusion.
Our greatest inheritance is not calculated by riches and the accumulation of material things; it is that we belong to God and God is ours. Despite what we may feel, unconquered lands and obstacles are really unexplored territory we have yet to encounter alongside our God. We must trust that the same God who has ordered our steps also orders our unknown future.