When Moses died Joshua became the leader of the nation of
Israel. Joshua made this leadership transition
at a critical time in the nation’s history.
Where before Joshua could rely on Moses, now he would carry the mantle
In Joshua 1:3-4, God said, “I
promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land
I have given you— from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon
mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the
Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’”
God made a choice to define the Promise Land and now He invited
Joshua to walk within the land of promise and make his own choices. Whatever
real estate Joshua chose to walk upon, within the promise, God would give it to
As a young pastor-in-training, a wise older leader shared with
me a simple child-like illustration about how we make individual choices in
God’s Kingdom. This leader shared with
me that a father took his young son to a carnival. While at the carnival the little boy saw a
clown selling helium filled balloons, each one a different color. The boy asked his father if he could have a
balloon and the father said yes. He then proceeded to give his son some money and told him to go and buy a balloon. He watched his excited son run over
to the clown and look up at all the colorful balloons floating in the air.
After a few moments it was obvious the little boy was not buying a balloon. Slowly
the boy walked back to his father without a balloon in hand. When asked why he didn’t buy a balloon the
little boy said, “You didn’t tell me what color to buy.” The father responded, “That was your choice.”
Our movement forward into all that God has for us is
empowered by our understanding of His heart.
God has made all His promises in Jesus “yes” and now He is inviting the
Church to that “yes” as a place of freedom and discovery. This is not an undefined freedom. This freedom is within the Person of Jesus
Christ – the living Word of God.
The choices we make, within the choice God has already made
for us, is where we begin to discover the real freedom that exists for us within
God’s Kingdom. As we step deeper into
the promise of God, and grow in our spiritual maturity, we become more willing
to risk something new because we know God will not throw us away if we fail.
When I was a young pastor I asked Jerry Cook a question about
how he and his leadership team made decisions.
Jerry said that in the early years of his ministry at East Hill Church
in Gresham, Oregon, they would step out in faith in a direction they thought
would be pleasing to God. Some of the steps
they took were actually God and other decisions took them down the wrong path. When they realized they were moving in a
wrong direction, they called out to God for help and He simply picked them up and
placed them on the right path.
We are serving a loving Father who has given us the freedom
to make choices within the greater choice of His Son. He desires to bless decisions that reflect
His heart and character. Our individual
and unique choices reflect the very nature of what constitutes a family. We
reflect the image of God that was placed in us at our creation, yet we still
possess the individual uniqueness that allows us to make personal choices that
will have me choose an orange balloon versus your yellow balloon or have me
walk on different stones along the same pathway.
For Joshua, the Promise Land was defined by natural
geographic boundaries. In the New Covenant our boundaries of promise are
defined within a Person – Jesus Christ.
Paul said to the people of Athens in Acts 17:28 “For in him we live and move and exist.” He is our Promise Land.
Today, chose to live
in Him and make choices without living in the fear of failure. Buy your
favorite colored Kingdom-balloon. Begin to step out in faith along a path that
you feel will please Him. Walk around in the Promise Land like it is already
yours and make decisions that you feel would best reflect the heart of your loving
Father. If you somehow miss it He will pick you up and put your on the right