Why Joshua?

Joshua already had the preparation for ministry of having been Moses’ servant since his youth (Numbers 11:28). He had faith to be one of the two spies who believed that Yahweh was capable of fulfilling His declaration that He would give the descendants of Jacob the land that had belonged to the descendants of Canaan (Numbers 14:8).

In Exodus 33:7-11, what may have been the description of his real preparation for leadership says that Moses would knock off work and head into the camp, but Joshua would stay inside the tent of meeting, where Yahweh was manifesting and talking to Moses as a man talks face to face with another man. Joshua would just stay there.

Just spending time away from everyone else can empower you to greatness if you spend it in the Spirit of Yahweh. You don’t have to be speaking or hearing anything to be changed by His presence.

On the days with the wondrous place is filled with the whisper of His voice, you will be changed and led.

Find the place of meeting that He is drawing you to. Hide from all else and all others. Spend time there. Be changed and be led.

Then go lead.

Testing Your Effectiveness

When Jesus instructed that someone could be known by their fruit (Matthew 7:16 & 20) He was referring to false prophets.

When He taught about pruning, He was referring to branches that were in Him (John 15:2). Branches that don’t produce fruit are removed, and branches that produce fruit are pruned, so that they produce more fruit.

In Acts 14:8-20, Luke described a fierce day in the lives of Barnabas and Paul. As they did work related to the Kingdom and the Church, the responses to it ranged from being worshiped as gods to being assaulted with the hope of murder.

Being observant of your fruit is wise. Being crushed by the fact that fruit from obedience to the King doesn’t seem to be what you expected might be a mistake.

Some of your missions are not expected by your Commander to have the outcomes that the world would measure as “optimum.” Some of His prunings come in ways that seem to be judgements rather than promotions.

I suggest that you examine yourself through a different test: answer the question, “Did I do what the Lord told me to do?” If the answer is “Yes,” then expect promotion. Perhaps in the form of pruning.

Then, be enCOURAGEd.

Preparing for the Race

1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13

The real text for this word is in the Book. Reading it will likely give you access to encouragement and advice about how to prepare for your work and your purpose.

19-23 Lay down your life

24-27 What matters most is at the end of the race,
not during it

1-5 Learn from Israel how to partake of the Lord
so to enter the land

6-11 What else to learn from Israel

12-13 Jesus is the WAY out of every temptation to fail

Defragging the Church

If you have a laptop or desk model personal computer, it has a hard drive. That’s the place where what you save is stored and where the information that makes your programs run is stored.

If you save a picture, or a music file, or a letter or other document, the hard drive spins through its list of unused space, and records the thousands or billions of bits of your information in a stream of coded marks. When you erase or delete a file, the hard drive marks an appropriate number of bits of space as blank.

Very importantly: if you then save another file, the hard drive fills in the space left open when you deleted something earlier. If the new file is smaller than the space, the hard drive makes a note of how much of the space is still blank. If the new file is larger than the space, the drive will fill the space, then move to the next blank space or spaces it finds to store the rest of the file. If this happens, the saved file is now fragmented.

The more your data becomes fragmented by saving / deleting / saving data, the slower your hard drive is in working with those files. You can “defrag” the drive, reading all of the fragmented files and then rewriting them in complete blocks. I think that the Head of the Church is going to do some of that in His Church.

I believe that He is aligning people regarding their ministry relationships, and that those relationships are what He understands to be the shape and system interaction of His Body. As people begin to develop the work relationships, they will realize that they don’t have much life without the work relationships being family relationships. The development of relationships that are family / work / purpose / mission will realign the identity of the Church into congregations that work together rather than continuing to be wrestling with other congregations for resources, and chaining sheep to their barns.

The Church will be glorious. The world will know we are His by the way we love each other. We will be built up to the full measure of the stature of Christ by what every joint supplies.

I hate to wait!

On Being Awesome

Being well rounded with regard to your education and social preparation for life may make you less offensive, or better equipped to converse at parties, but it doesn’t lead to awesomeness. It is really maybe just being mediocre at many things.

In order to attain awesomeness, you become offensive on days. Challenging on days. You can’t even stand yourself on days. It is because having purpose and passion (that means pain) and being devoted to living in a way that they influence each other threatens many established and unquestioned things and people.

One of my heroes says it makes you a unicorn in a balloon factory. Somebody’s favorite things pop just because you showed up and looked around.

So, hoping for both popularity and awesomeness may lead you to an unsettled soul. Hoping for both awesomeness and effectiveness will probably lead you to leave behind a changed world.

Skeletons

You have a skeleton. A beetle has an exoskeleton. If someone tried to install an exoskeleton on your body, it would range in effect somewhere between a space suit and an iron maiden.

Structure in a building gives it strength and shape. While a building is being constructed, a system of scaffolding is frequently used around it.

As we build the Church (yes, I know – Jesus said He would build His Church – but Paul made it clear that He plans to employ you in the process of it: 1 Corinthians 3:9-15) we sometimes install human control mechanisms.

We want to control what others do, and erect permanent scaffolding or an iron exoskeleton that keeps everything safe from becoming too different or too new or too scary.

We should be focused on building launch pads and runways and on ramps, and developing fueling stations. We should be creating tracking devices that plot the new maps.

Prefer the dangerous place of too much liberty to the dangerous path back to Egypt.

Leaving Something

Most of the people who are remembered after they die are remembered in terms of what they built. All building isn’t measured in terms of “buildings,” but sometimes in terms of what was happening that needed to stop, or a process that was created, or a freedom that was established.

I haven’t counted, but it seems that the percentage is at least large, of people whose investment in the earth was not appreciated until after they died. Many of their contemporaries insulted their dreams, often because they saw the innovators’ suggestions as insults to their maintenance programs for previous ideas. New implies that Old was not good enough.

I don’t suggest that you build in order to be remembered. I do suggest that you build to make a difference in the earth that was imparted from heaven. Finding purpose, pursuing the realization of John 15:16 and 1 Corinthians 12:18, investing life in what God sees to be valuable, these produce change that is worth living or dying for.

Jesus died to make the difference He imparted to the earth. We are investing our lives in something. Make it count. Leave something in the earth that was worth your life.

Go be awesome!

The Focus

 

We should be focused on Jesus. That shouldn’t be news.

While we stare at His face in wonder and love, we should note what He is focused on, though.

One day His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, like John had taught his disciples to pray. He responded with a model prayer.

One day, He was looking at what He was focused on, and out of His heart burst instruction to “Ask, therefore, the Lord of the Harvest that He would send forth laborers into the harvest.”

Look at what He’s looking at, and ask Him to work in you to want to do and to be able to do what pleases Him about it.

Authorization

When and how does someone get authorization to tell you what to do or not to do? What are the limits of what they can say and on what subjects?

Somewhere between the bookends of the Shepherding Movement and the idea that even Jesus shouldn’t be trying to run my life, is the liberty found in the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

There are times in Scripture when people and angels were given words of revelation or instruction that were ignored at cost and others that were obeyed with blessing.

Jesus said that His sheep know His voice and follow Him out to pasture and in to safety. That truth is the explanation of and instruction on how to discern who has a word of authority in your life or work.

When we learn to recognize His voice it will facilitate the realization of the prophetic pictures in Ephesians 4 of reaching unity in the knowledge and faith of Jesus, and no longer being carried away with stupid teaching.

You will be trusted with authority when you grow up in worthiness of it. Others will too. Listen for the Shepherd’s voice in both cases and obey Him.