THE PATIENT WORK THAT IMPRESSES GOD

October 09, 2023

THE PATIENT WORK THAT IMPRESSES GOD

 
Anyone can start a hard job, but few finish. Satisfied with a bit of progress, we often stop short of completion. History is filled with jobs half-done, but blessed are those who endure even in face of opposition and hardship.
 
JOSHUA’S COURAGE
Joshua is a book of conquest and courage. God charges His leader to enter and possess the promised land. In that process, he is to destroy all the wicked inhabitants and do it thoroughly. Joshua has a few lapses in wisdom in the opening battles (Ai and Gibeon), but after these initial wake-up calls, he proceeds rapidly to listen and obey the Lord precisely at every battle. And God gave His leader increasing success.
 
When Joshua was chasing the five kings of the Amorites who had conspired against them, he was in a great battle one day, and we read this account:
 
Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:12-14)
 
Get this visual in your mind: the battle is raging. Joshua is so intent on obeying God and pursuing God's enemies that he realizes there is not enough time in the day to get it done. He talks with the Lord about this situation, and apparently, God agrees to an amazing request: to give him more daylight by a weather-driven act of God. The sun stands still as they proceed to defeat the enemy.
 
GOD HONORS COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP
Even when Joshua was Moses’ associate, we see a picture of a quiet, persevering warrior. God loves this and is so impressed by His chosen leader's consistent courage that He holds the sun in the sky to allow Joshua time to finish the job.
 
There are many such warriors today. A husband who faithfully loves his wife and children every day. A mom who gets us early and stays up late to take care of her own. A pastor who continues to preach the Word of God even in the face of opposition or seemingly meager results. A humble man who goes to work each morning “as unto the Lord,” even when it’s hard. A single mom who does double duty for the child she loves. The children’s worker who serves for decades investing in the next generation. … and on and on. The Kingdom is filled with unnamed heroes of faith.
 
When we cooperate with God fully and move forward with courage, He will move heaven and earth to accomplish His goals through us. I imagine the smile of God upon Joshua—and upon us—when we proceed with this intention and perseverance.
 




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