Yesterday I was reading in Joshua 14 and verse 8 really stood out to me. Joshua is recounting when Moses sent him along with 11 others into the Promised Land and how only him and Caleb stood alongside the Lord’s promise to give them the land. The other 10 could not get past the size of the people and how in their perspective, there was no way they could go in and possess the land as God had promised. Verse 8 says the following:
“But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the LORD my God.” (ESV, emphasis added)
When people make your heart want to melt, what is your response in light of God’s promises? Is your response like Joshua’s? Or is your response like the people of Israel? Do you forget about God’s promises or do you stand strong on His promises? We all know the result of the Israelite’s disobedience, yet what will be the result of our disobedience for not standing on God’s promises? Chances are we probably will not wander in a physical wilderness for 40 years but we could wind up wandering in another kind of wilderness.
In spite of all that the Israelites saw the Lord do and how He provided for them, protected them and lead them, they still could not get past the obstacles that seemingly stood in their way. And through all of this, Joshua stood firm. When others around you are beginning to doubt or question God’s goodness and promises, what is your response? Can you say like Joshua, “Yet I wholly followed the Lord?”
I see in this statement the biggest reason Joshua was able to stand strong in this area. The whole time that Moses was leading the ISraelites, Joshua was watching Moses and striving to live like Moses lived. He made that relationship with God his own. He did not allow his response and relationship with God to only come through Moses. He sought after the heart of God himself. The Israelites did not. They tried to leave the relationship with God to Moses. Trying to live your relationship with God through someone else never ever works. It has to be personal. That is what Joshua did. Read the end of verse 8. He calls God, “the LORD, MY God.” He made it personal. God was HIS God. He wasn’t only the God of Moses, or Abraham or Jacob. God was HIS God.
Is God YOUR God? Don’t wait to answer this question.