If a team will win, the people must be mindful of God’s interest and purpose corporate to them

So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.” Josh 1:16-18

The setting out of the ministry of Joshua was the dawn of a new era. Yesterday is gone and today is very important. While we take cue from wonderful precedents from the past and maintain the ancient landmark which our fathers have set, we must know that today is the best time to be and the only opportunity that we can use. We must celebrate every day that He has given us as the day that the Lord has made.The essence of a group is to win together. When this same principle is applied to the church, it is much more than to win as other groups or human association. The church as a kingdom outstation on earth is to accomplish what falls within the sphere of God’s desire. The church has a clear job description: it is spelt out in the great commission – Matt 28:19-20; Mar 16:15-18; Jn 20:21; Acts 1:8. This has to be carried out in line with the revelation of God’s mind (so that we do not end up to have ran in vain. 1Cor. 9:24-27) and with a kingdom orientation so that we do not end up with a replication of human scheme.

God commissioned Joshua to lead the pack. His words to Him was His words to the people. There was an essential part of the preparation or the readiness of the people to take the land set before them that we cannot gloss over. It was their team spirit and attitude. This lesson is apt for us and for our time, so that through the consolation and encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

If a team will win, the people must be kingdom-minded. Kingdom- mindedness speaks of a team whose consideration is for God’s interests and purpose; it speaks of selflessness and a looking away from personal interests to concentrate on corporate purpose and goals. This was the attribute found in the Joshua generation team and which constitutes a great lesson for us today. According to the text:

Everyone was together. They spoke with one voice and operated with team spirit. The essence of a group is togetherness for we need to take hold together with others if we would make things to happen – Mk 3:24; Luk 11:17. The church as the outstation of the kingdom on earth must maintain a team spirit. Rom 15:5-6; Eph. 4:3-6; Jn 17:6. This team spirit does not mean we have lost out individual uniqueness or genius; it rather helps us to agree even in our disagreement. Phil 4:2; Eph 5:27. While for the Israelites it was a natural national togetherness, it is most of the time not so today since church is not a natural family. We are a coming together of different kinds and manners of people. Little wonder that unless the right culture is imbibed, the church can easily become the breeding ground for division and multiplicity of opinions.

Everyone recognised the God given leadership of Joshua. Everyone (though to function together with others) has the responsibility to recognise for himself a God given leadership. Matt 4:18-22. According to the precedent from Christ, a leader will be led to co-opt some while some others will be led to join themselves to the leader. Jesus was uncompromising in relating with potential disciples, Luk 9:57-62. In either case the decision still remains with each person to decide whether to align or not to align with the leader. Leadership in the kingdom though delegated or appointed by God is not by imposition, but by acceptance, for nothing shall be done without your mind – Phile 1:14. (to be continued).

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