Joshua the Unlikely Ruler

Are you familiar with the feeling of doing something you’d rather not do?  Are you familiar with the feeling of having to fulfill an obligation no one could pay you enough to fulfill?  Have you felt like the victim of your own barrage of thoughts that are zapping your energy?  These are tiny of glimpses of slavery and are foreign to your true self.  You, in essence, are created to live without any other king but you and your God as the best of friends basking in the glorious responsibility of true freedom.

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There’s a man named Joshua in the bible, torah, and koran who is Moses’ right hand man while the whole clan of Israelites have just been divinely freed from slavery in Egypt for 430 years.  We are introduced to Joshua in the desert after their release and we see him believe God when few others did, in the tent of meeting with Moses.  We are introduced to him as a free man, but Joshua too, grew up as a slave.  Just like every other short-sighted, fear-based Israelite who couldn’t believe in God’s goodness beyond their own past experiences, Joshua grew up a slave.  However this man, unlike Moses and almost all Israelites, did cross over in to the promised land.  Joshua was able lead others that had only tasted freedom into God’s promises, despite having grown up in a culture of slavery.

We often eliminate ourselves for so many things.  We look back at our lives and say, “But I’ve done this, or this happened to me, or I endured this,” and we have these road blocks in our minds to believing our own happiness, our own strength, our own victory.  We tolerate slavery in little ways, we endure being emotionally or mentally kept into places we want to leave, but why?  Joshua is a man that had every excuse like everyone around him had to stay in his slave mentality.  All of his peers.  Comparison.  Justification.  Do you see how we’ve been treated?  Do you see what we’ve been through?  But he carried no excuses in his soul to not believing God was everything he imagined he could be and more.  You see God never joins in slavery with us.  Even as Christ in flesh, Jesus was not a slave to anything.  God never tolerated being pushed around.  It’s not who you are even if its where you’ve come from.

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Your experience with slavery does not disqualify you from leading yourself and others into God’s promises.  It does not disqualify you from achieving the impossible.  It does not negate your unearned inheritance.

Joshua, the slave who acted like a king.  The man who had slavery as the norm in his culture of origin.  But he spent time with the never-slave God.  The free God who spoke, interacted, and existed without being forced to be or do anything but who lives as love and calls us to the glorious freedom of the same.  Your origins are free of all slavery.

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Moses!  Of course Moses was chosen to lead the exodus, he grew up in the kings house, he experienced the kings freedom, he saw the world from the perspective of ruling since birth.  But the one who led the people into the land of inheritance, Joshua, was the one born a slave who believed God enough that he became a king in his inner man.  By that I am inspired.

Maybe Joshua was given the command of being courageous because he doubted.  Maybe was given the command of being strong because he was familiar with feeling weak.  “Be in my likeness,” God was inviting Joshua, “You don’t have to stay in the likeness you’ve come from or see being displayed around you.  Listen to me, I’ve invited you, come and lead in what it feels it feels like to be free.”

My Story

I feel like there is power in sharing our stories and sometimes the best place to start is the beginning.  Recently, I was given an opportunity to share how my relationship with God began and I thought I would share it here as well.

I went to church with my family sometimes and even learned stories from the bible as a child, but I went to church for years and never really remember hearing about Jesus or what he did for us or what he thought of us.  I remember trying really hard to figure out when to stand and when to sit and how to make my voice go up or down with the music notes I didn’t know how to read in the hymnal.

Fast forward through my parent’s divorce, our moving to a new location, and lots of high school parties.  At one point I was grounded because of driving lots of drunk people at like three in the morning when I was sixteen.  I hadn’t been drinking.  While I was grounded, my mother gave me a book, as she is an avid reader.

This book was fiction and written by a Christian.  In this book, the author clearly explained how a certain character in the book was impacted by Christ and the holy spirit working in her life.  I remember just saying “Yes” to God in my basement and feeling his presence fill the room and a conversation between us began that hasn’t stopped to this day. (You can read more about this subject here.)

God continues to help me.  How to respond in my marriage, how to view the mistakes of my past, what decisions I should make concerning how I live my life.  He is the peace within me, and his love is my breath.  He continues to remind me of my value and my worth.  I have fallen in love and he continues to show me how to love myself and love others.  The end–or actually–just the beginning.  🙂