The Israelites had wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, going nowhere with God. Then, under Joshua’s leadership, God instructed them to get ready to step out of where they had been into all that God wanted to give them. And the challenge He issued to the entire nation of Israel became very personal in the life of Joshua.
Since his youth, Joshua had been Moses’ aide. He knew God had appointed him as Moses’ successor. Then Moses died. Joshua was overwhelmed … terrified … to step out into all God had for him.
I wonder if you are also facing a challenge to step out of your comfort zone. A challenge to step into all that God has for you. A challenge that is overwhelming. Scary. Maybe He has challenged you to share the Gospel with a neighbor … to facilitate a Bible study or prayer time in your home … to unashamedly live out your faith in your workplace … to plant a church or inner city ministry … to visit those in prison or hospitals or rest homes … to pray … to vote … to stand …
If so, it’s time to get ready …
I. Get Ready by Opening Your Ears to God’s Word
Read Joshua 1:1-9
A. Listen Readily
- Describe the possible emotional, spiritual, practical and professional impact of Moses’ death on Joshua’s life.
- How could the impact of Moses’ death affect Joshua’s openness to listen to the voice of God?
- How does fear or grief or an overwhelming challenge affect your ability to hear the voice of God as you read your Bible?
B. Listen Reverently
- Remembering that Joshua had been a slave in Egypt and had experienced the exodus, what did Joshua know about the God Who was speaking to him? Exodus 12:1-3, 12-13, 29-31; Exodus 14:5-6, 9-11,13-14, 21-23, 26-28; Exodus 15:1-3; Exodus 17:8-16; Exodus 19:18-19; Exodus 24:13-18; Exodus 33:7, 11; Numbers 13:1-2, 16, 26-28; Numbers 14:6-9; Numbers 27:18-23
- What difference do you think Joshua’s knowledge of God made in the way he listened to God’s voice?
- What do you know about God from your own experience, as well as your knowledge of Scripture?
- How does your knowledge of God affect your openness to listen to His voice?
C. Listen Receptively
- What command is repeated three times in Joshua 1:6-9? Apply it to your life.
- List the other commands given in verses 6-9. Give a personal application for each.
- List the promises in Joshua 1:3-9. Which one is most meaningful to you and why?
- Which promise would be most meaningful to someone getting ready to step out of their comfort zone into all God has for them?
- If Joshua had not been open to hear the voice of God, what would he have missed? What will you miss?
II. Get Ready by Opening Your Life to God’s Will
Read Joshua 1:10-18
- From Joshua 1:10-15, give evidence of Joshua’s obedience to God; his confidence in God.
- How was Joshua encouraged? Joshua 1:16-18
- What phrase indicates God was speaking through the people to reassure Joshua? Joshua 1:16-18
- Whom has God used to reassure you as you step out of your comfort zone?
- Do you think God’s will for Joshua’s life led to bigger or smaller things than Joshua’s own will would have?
- Do you think God wants less for you than you want for yourself? Romans 12:2.
III. Get Ready by Opening Your Eyes to God’s World
Read Joshua 2 and 6
- Why do you think Joshua sent two spies to look over the land? Joshua 2:1
- Did the information they brought back help Joshua defeat Jericho? Joshua 6:1-5
- What reason could God have had for sending spies to Jericho? Joshua 2:1-21
- What similarities can you find between the story of Rahab in Joshua 2:1-21, Joshua 6:22-25 and the Samaritan woman in John 4:4-30? What differences?
- What does this teach you about His love for the world around us? For individuals?
- As you look at the world around you, what need has come to your attention? What problem has become personalized for you? What opportunity has been presented to you for your involvement?
- Skim Joshua 3-6. Make a list of things that would not have taken place if Joshua had been unwilling to open his ears, his eyes and his life to God.
- What difference did Joshua’s openness to God’s Word, God’s will and God’s world make in his life and in the lives of others?
I wonder … what difference will your openness to God make in your own life—in the lives of God’s people—and in the world around you?
Would you get ready to step out of your comfort zone by opening yourself up to God?
Someone’s salvation may depend upon it … ©2023 BGEA
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, which she co-authored with her daughter Rachel-Ruth Wright, is Preparing To Meet Jesus—Moving From Salvation to Transformation. It can be ordered from major booksellers online.