Joshua 11:15 As the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.
There’s a very important sequence here, and it deals with authority. Joshua had authority because it was imparted to him by Moses, but Moses had authority because it was given to him by God. Actually, God also spoke directly to Joshua, but that doesn’t negate this sequence. This is the sort of thing that was recognized by the Roman centurion whom Jesus commended for his faith. (Matthew 8:5-13) As that centurion realized, authority is imparted, and if the trail is followed back far enough, the source of all authority is the Creator. That said, authority has meaning only when it functions. Moses was obedient, for the most part, in what God told him to do, and here we have a statement of Joshua’s obedience. When we are doing what God has told us to do, His authority, and consequently His power, operate in and through us. When we step out of that flow, we lose all real authority and power.
I have always been a little uncomfortable with authority, though I have improved over the years, I think. At this point in my life I feel the Lord has given me a great deal of spiritual authority in this city and region, so it comes down to the question of what I am doing with it. Joshua had to be really active to be obedient to do all he was told. How am I doing? I don’t feel at this point that I have received very specific instructions about very many things. I am to listen carefully and then be careful to follow through. For example, I feel I am to pay a call on the newly elected mayor, since he is a former student of mine, and tell him I am praying for him. The late mayor was a Christian, but not as active in what this verse is talking about as he might have been – but then that could be said about all of us! I am to exercise the authority I have been given to cause people to recognize God as holy, bringing His kingdom here through doing His will for His glory.
Father, thank You for this Word of encouragement and instruction. May I indeed be faithful in obedience, letting Your authority operate through me as You intend, so that the works of the enemy may be destroyed (1 John 3:8) and people be set free to enter Your kingdom, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!