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

Continuing from last week, we see further  that in Joshua’s company:

3. Everyone was willing to accept his authority. How can someone tell you what to do and you shall be obligated to? That can only be because you have been able to TRUST the person under God to provide you with leadership and direction fully recognising the place of authority in God’s system. It was this recognition of authority that caused Jesus to be impressed with the centurion in Matt 8:5-12. He understood authority (a crucial factor in the kingdom of God); He submitted under authority and knows to exercise authority (YOU CANNOT CONFIDENTLY OPERATE OR EXERCISE AUTHORITY WHEN YOUR OWN OBEDIENCE IS WANTING); He expects (and he can legitimately) THE BLESSING OF AUTHORITY WHICH ONLY FALLS TO THOSE WHO DULY RESPECT IT; He therefore had the potential (even as an outsider) to partake in the coming kingdom while the real heirs of the kingdom were gazing like outsiders and shall be thrown out according to the words of Christ. Why would they be thrown out? They will be thrown out for their rebellion, the opposite of submission.

4. Everyone believed the best of Joshua and supported him, especially in prayer that God will be with him. It is a responsibility to believe the best of the leader that God has caused you to recognise. BELIEVING THE BEST OF HIM IS SYNONYMOUS TO EXPECTING THE BEST THROUGH HIM. The extent of the devotion and the responsiveness of the followers is the extent of their privileges from a leader. The exceptionally committed ones were those in Christ’s innermost circle during His earthly ministry. It takes believing the best of a leader before you can listen to him in all things. Instructing and leading in all things as a leader in within the bounds of the charge received by God. God does not delegate a leader to usurp people’s personal responsibility. It is important to also support a leader. The support is not for him but for the good of the group, especially in prayer that God will be with him.

5. The took a stand against division and rebellion within the camp. Division can be seen from two angles, the functional and the dysfunctional. While a functional division is a functional part of a group that runs with a mission that is subordinate (sub-mission) to the group, dysfunctional division is the rebellious, seditious, conflicting part of a group. Every group that will win against all odds must ensure that a stand is taken against such insurgence; If not that will be a quickest way to defeat. Why was the devil sent out of heaven? His rebellion and the need to forestall further defilement. It is better to be out of a team/group than to constitute defilement on their feast of love and unity.

  1. They encouraged him the leader in all sincerity. Good followers serve as channels, not source, of joy, strength and of courage to the leader. The body language, words and willingness of the people constituted encouragement to Joshua. This we must do with our all. Heb. 13:17

The essence of the group is for winning; it is for geometric effects. Even where God is in charge, he has never left His people without a leader. When they did not have a king after the culture of the nations, he gave them judges who were their captains. The reason for a captain in the army is for winning. If we operate with this spirit, our campaigns will be successful to our corporate and individual good and to the praise of God. This context just showed that the kingdom of God is a functional structure and not dysfunctional mass.


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).




Help is useful when responsibility is taken, for responsibility makes collaboration profitable.

If Jordan is the river you have not crossed before, crossing it then is a new experience; it is doing something new, something personally unprecedented; setting new target spiritually, materially, financially; stepping out of your current rut.

Nothing changes until you have decided to use change. You did not just get to the secondary school or to the university. You got to those places through a process of doing things differently and attempting new things. Even in salvation, while the provision has always been there, the change starts with you through your decision to believe in the Lord Jesus before heaven blesses you with its provision.

Help is useful when responsibility is taken, for responsibility makes collaboration profitable. Symbiosis is the way life goes; parasites are less desirable than hosts.

The blessing upon responsibility is collaboration. We can accomplish more of the corporate plan of God’s for us through cooperation with others. God sets everyone in communities for it is not good for Adam to be alone. He sets us in societies that we may live together in harmony and accomplish the His objectives for our corporate lives. He picks the solitary and sets them in families so as to break their bounds and release them into prosperity – Ps 68:6.

God’s plan for us is first for the group and then for the individuals. We all find our individualities and significance in the group. Together is the language of a group. The poor and rich come together, the lord is the maker of all – Pro 22:2. Through group experience we foster a balance that all may experience the good which God has in plan for our togetherness.

There is imbalance simply because of weaknesses of some. They are weak vis-a-vis the appropriation of God’s grace. Communal life sees to it that none falls short of God’s grace. The keyword in consideration here is ‘taking hold together with against’. Ecc 4:9-12 pointed to us the advantages of togetherness: Woe unto him that is alone; Two are better than one; A threefold cord is not easily broken. Geometric progression is enacted when forces are joined together under God – Lev 26:8; Deut 32: 30; Josh 23:10.

You are expected to join force with your significant others over their weaknesses with the strength, wisdom, abilities and encouragement that you have gained from God so as to prevail with them against their existent limitations. Practically speaking, everyone has an area of grace or testimony from the past with which he could help the other person.

The culture of God’s kingdom is cooperation, not a taking over of responsibility. If we usurp others’ responsibility, we would be promoting the culture of irresponsibility and laying foundation for implosion of fellowship and community. Kingdom help is via cooperation just as salvation happens through collaboration between heaven and earth. Even if our part of the salvation deal is very insignificant, we still had to believe to appropriate the provision. The one in need of help must willingly take up responsibility for help to be justified.

Let us all learn to be responsible and let those who are stronger and more advantaged be disposed to helping the weaker ones with the measure of grace which God has satisfied them with. By doing this we would all be able to enter into our corporate rest, the rest which remains for those who believe.




… most of the things that God will do in your life … will be … by responsible collaboration

For every blessing that God has for you he puts on you the responsibility to appropriate it. It is the Lord’s business to make a promise and provision, it is your responsibility to take possession of what is meant for you. To take possession of it means it must be your desire to possess what God has for you. Desire expresses itself in faith, in prayer and in corresponding action. God will not give anyone what he has no desire for or what he takes no action for. Don’t forget that the action is to possess and not to provide

For most of the things that God will do in your life, they will be accomplished by collaboration. The operation of the Holy Spirit in your life, for instance is collaborative. He does not usurp your responsibility; He rather works with you – Jn 15:26 (Acts 5:32). What about ‘the spirit himself makes intercession for us’ according to Rom 8:26? Well, the Spirit makes intercession for us because of our weaknesses.

As we patiently hope for the things which God has for us, groaning in ourselves for them, the Holy Spirit also helps our weaknesses (the general weaknesses of our present life) which limit us even as we groan in ourselves. The scripture indicates that when we pray, we do not know what we should pray for as we ought to (possibly a problem of limited expression). He helps our weaknesses by taking hold of opposite together with us. He lays hold along with us, he strives to obtain with us what we long for with groaning that cannot be expressed in human words.

Just as it is with the Holy Spirit, the role of others in your lives is not to usurp your responsibility but to cooperate with you over what you are take responsibility for. They take hold together with you, walk together with you over your desires that you can do something about or at times nothing much about. Your responsibility is however primary. There must be a desire and an action, unless you are in a state of total incapability which is an extreme – Jn 11:1-2; Jam 5:16. Some who have refused to do something (even if little) about their predicament have been found to be incapable of receiving the help because of lack of desire or unwillingness to use the change that time offers them.

You may wonder about cases like that of Dorcas in Acts 9:36-43 and Peter in Acts 12:1-19. Theirs, I observe, were extreme or near extreme cases, wherein others had to fight for their cause. The values they have added to others was the reason why those people did not let go of them. The intervention of others in those two cases was not about merely securing an extension of existence for them, it was more for the roles they were fulfilling. For them to live was Christ.

Never pass the buck of your life to another, for the change starts with you. It is time to take responsibility away from lying vanity of who shall do it for you. Jon 2:8. Get ready to cross the Jordan for yourself. You cannot sit still where you are and expect to have the experience across the Jordan. Until you get to your destination a protracted stopping over might be a tool for vulnerability.