The Man Who Stayed Behind
The people of God had sinned in their idolatrous quest to serve the pagan gods of Egypt, even after Jehovah had shown his miraculous power in delivering them from Egyptian domination. God is very angry and refuses to go with them to conquer Canaan; he is going to send an angel instead. God calls them “stiff-necked” and is tempted to destroy them. The people begin to repent and become very sorry and it opens a window for the possibility of God rescinding his intention to consume them due to their rebellion.
Moses seizes the moment. He erects a tent far outside the camp and called it the Tabernacle of Meetings; a place where those who sought after God could go and meet with Yahweh because of deep repentance and a desire to fellowship and know God.
Whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, a pillar of cloud descended and hovered at the entrance door. It became a place of separation and a place where God’s people were experiencing the great God of Israel.
There was a young man who had a peculiar spirit of hunger and desire. When Moses went to the tent of meeting, this young man went. When Moses left this face to face encounter with Almighty God, this young man stayed behind. He did not leave this awesome presence. This young man was Joshua.
Joshua became Moses’ right hand man. He became one of two men that defied the evil report of the other ten men who went to spy out Canaan. He declared that giants were no problem for God. He is faithful to God for forty years while unbelief died in the desert. He still had his eye on God’s vision of a nation of spirit filled believers.
When the time came the water of the Jordon River opened at Joshua’s command; the walls of Jericho fell with the shout of the people; he fights the enemies of God and discriminating hailstones fall from the sky and crushes only those fighting against Israel; the sun is forced to stop its descent into evening for about twenty four hours to give Joshua time to annihilate the opposing armies. Joshua wins every battle he embarks upon in subduing hostile forces.
That is a pretty impressive list. How did this ordinary man step into such dynamic leadership? It started over forty years ago when a young man discerned the moment. He discerned God was up to something. In the midst of national sin, God set up a tabernacle of Holy Spirit visitation to all who wanted him. Joshua saw a new move of God, and an unprecedented offer to those who were hungry to know Jehovah. Joshua had a sense of destiny and history, and while he was young, he accompanied the greatest leader of his time into the presence of God. However, when everyone else left, he remained. He was the man who stayed behind. He sought God and God met him in a moment of destiny and he was changed forever. He could stand up when everyone around him was afraid. He could believe for miracles when the odds defied victory. He was the man who stayed behind. He recognized his destiny and seized it and never looked back.
America is in an era of horrible idolatry, immorality, apostasy, rebellion, and heresy. Many people are trying to fight this battle through legislation and carnal means. Many have become extremely pessimistic and have practically given up hope that all is lost.
Can you see that this is the greatest day of opportunity that the church has ever known! We are not going to win this war for the conscience of our nation at the ballot box, the court systems, or through a well-financed media blitz. We are going to win the battle in the tabernacle of meeting. Can you sense destiny? Can you sense that in the midst of national sin that God is offering an alternative? He is offering himself. Will you trade your sin for his presence? Will you trade your indifference and rebellion for the power of the Holy Ghost? Can you sense that destiny is in the air? We are living in the greatest moment of opportunity to see a landslide of revivalism where Jesus is truly made Lord and lives being altered by a mighty encounter with God’s divine presence!
Now is the time. We are the people. This is the place. Let’s be the people who stayed behind.