Section Three: The Lifestyle Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Two: Serving Christ in the Workplace.
Our reading for today: Joshua 1: 1-9 (MsgB)
After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon east to the Great River, the Euphrates River—all the Hittite country—and then west to the Great Sea. It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”
Sadly, in our generation, the belief that W-O-R-K can be a good thing is sometimes very hard to find.
Last week, as I was getting a haircut, I chatted with a very nice young man who was working on my hair. He was a very friendly guy and after a few casual comments back and forth, he began complaining to me about how very tired he was of cutting hair. I decided to play the role of the encourager and began asking him some questions on how he had decided to make hair-cutting his profession. From the sound of it, the young man has a very creative side to him, so the idea of being a hair-stylist, creating new and exotic hairdos for folks was exciting. But now, all these months later, as he wrestled with the reality of spending long hours on his feet, clipping hair for average customers like me, who just aren’t interested in streaking rainbow colors on my balding head, the job had become just that…a job.
I asked the young man what he really wanted to do in his life, and his response was almost immediate…
“You know what I really want?” the hair-stylist said, “I want to win the lottery and then spend the rest of my days lounging around my mom’s house, doing whatever I want, whenever I want!”
I chuckled, but then suddenly, I looked at him and realized that he was dead serious.
Now I know this type of response is most often a knee-jerk reaction, spoken out of our frustrations; but seriously, my friends, my fear is that more young people across America are dreaming of this kind of reality of W-O-R-K than we probably want to realize.
As I read today’s passage from the Book of Joshua, my mind wanders back to the young man who clipped my hair last week. I wonder what wonderful plans of W-O-R-K God might have for that young man, if he’d only take enough time to stop, look, and listen. Of course, we read about Joshua, the young man God chooses to lead His people to the Promised Land, and think, “Sure, I’d be willing to do a brave thing like that if I had God speaking directly to me like Joshua did!”
But here’s the rub.
In truth, God is speaking to us today! As a matter of fact, you and I have much more input from the Divine than Joshua ever did! You see, we have several thousand years of mounting evidence that God is always looking for men and women who will be willing to step out of the ordinary and follow Jesus of Nazareth into the extra-ordinary. I like the way one pastor told it to me…
“You know, Marty, God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called!
Now, I realize today’s blog might sound like an old-fashioned pep-talk…and, in fact, I don’t apologize for it…it is!
I’m just saying that if you have been reading this series of blogs on discipleship thus far, there must be a God-reason for me to encourage you today…
Hasn’t God commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take. Now GO to W-O-R-K!
Next time, we’ll continue our discussion on what that W-O-R-K might look like in your life and mine!
My prayer: Father God, as I turn the pages of the Bible and review the history of Your people, I see that in every generation, You call men and women to step out of their comfort zones and risk following You wherever You might lead them. Certainly, Joshua is one prime example where You knew how very difficult it was for Joshua to believe in both what You had for him, and in his own ability to believe in himself. Thank You, Jesus, that You are still calling men and women today to go to work on Your behalf, following in Your footsteps. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Have I fallen into the doldrums of the young hair-stylist, settling for a dream of W-O-R-K that leaves me weakened and worthless, or am I believing there is more to life than just that? Am I taking the necessary time to stop, look, and listen for the voice of God, inquiring of Him how He might want to use me for His Kingdom-purposes in my world today?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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