Have you ever wanted to be used by God?
I believe it is a God-given desire to want to serve the Lord. But maybe you've wondered what qualifications the Lord looks for in the life of a man or woman that He would use.
In the Book of Joshua, we can find at least seven principles that apply to the person God uses.
Principle one: God uses people who realize they are weak. In Joshua 1, God told Joshua to "be strong and courageous" a total of three times in four verses. Why? It was probably because He knew Joshua was afraid — and understandably so.
Moses was gone. Now God had raised up Joshua to lead the people of Israel, and he hardly felt adequate for the task.
It isn't a bad thing to discover that we are weak. In fact, it is quite good. As Warren Wiersbe has said, "You can never be too small for God to use — only too big."
Principle two: God uses people who are faithful. Joshua had been Moses' helper, or as the New King James Version puts it, "Moses' assistant" (see Joshua 1:1). Joshua was the guy who was there to help Moses get the job done.
He had been born in Egypt and, along with Caleb, would be the only Israelite from the great exodus to survive the wilderness wandering and make it into the Promised Land. Joshua was a faithful man and a worthy successor to Moses.
Principle three: God uses people who study and live by His Word. God told Joshua, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night..." (1:8 NKJV). If you want to be used by God, then you need to know the Word of God. "Meditate in it day and night," God said to Joshua.
The word meditate means, "to ponder, to consider, to contemplate." This is where you will have the authority when you are used by God.
Principle four: God uses the person who is patient and waits on His timing. Imagine wandering around the wilderness for 40 years, and finally you are on the brink of entering the Promised Land. Then God says, "Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, 'Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land...' " (1:11 NKJV).
We need to learn to wait on God's timing, because there is a time and a way to do what God calls us to do.
Principle five: God uses the person who cares about lost souls. There was a lost soul to be saved before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, and her name was Rahab. God would not judge Jericho until Rahab had been reached and told what to do to avoid this judgment that was coming when the Israelites attacked.
God's heart always is to save people. Every soul is precious to Him. God always cares about individuals, and so should we.
Principle six: God uses the person who sets himself or herself apart. Joshua told the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (3:5 NKJV). The word sanctify means, “to set yourself apart, to live a holy life."
It comes down to this: if you want to be used by God, then you will want to live a life that is right before Him. You don't need to be perfect. But you need to be someone who is attempting to live a godly life.
Principle seven: God uses the person who knows how to work with others. A good leader will communicate with and encourage the people with whom he or she works.
That is what Joshua did. He called the people together and encouraged them. They were about to undertake a very difficult task. It was going to take faith. He was saying to the people, "Hear what God is saying to you, and let's move forward."
Joshua was communicating with the people he was leading, and he was encouraging them. If you want to be used by God, then this is what you need to do.
The Bible says, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him" (2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV). Will you be that person He can use?
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!