” Then they answered Joshua, ‘Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses.’” Joshua 1:16-17
The Israelites stood on the verge of possessing the promise that God had made to the patriarch Abraham approximately 800 years earlier. While this land had been promised to them, the reality remained that there were many other people living there who believed that the land belonged to them. To be certain, God had promised to give them the land and what God promises is as good as already done. Yet, actually taking possession of the promise would not be a walk in the park. Instead of everyone coming to the table with his or her great idea about how they should do this, we see the people of Israel unite behind Joshua. The people had witnessed Joshua’s faithfulness. They had even watched Moses, the servant of the Lord, lay hands on Joshua indicating that Joshua would be Israel’s next leader. They knew that Joshua was the leader that God had chosen – yet now the rubber was meeting the road and they had to decide whether or not they were really going to follow Joshua. Their decision was unanimous. They would do whatever Joshua commanded. They would go whereever he led. Their prayer was only that God would be with him.
At First Baptist we stand on the verge of something incredible. We stand on the verge of being able to impact this community with the message of the Cross in a way that would not have been possible only a few years earlier. Yet to cross into that promise we must follow our leaders. Lest anyone misunderstand my meaning, let me be very clear. First Baptist has one Head and that is Christ. It is not our deacons, our finance committee, or any specific age group. It is not me as your pastor, although God has placed me here to serve and lead the church. Jesus Christ alone is the Head of the church; that means that you and I must check our personal platforms and plans at the door if we are to experience the fullness of the blessings God wishes to bestow on us. We cannot follow our own desires and follow those of Jesus at the same time.