Next Man Up

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Joshua 1:5 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

In sports, it is common for the next person to have to fill a vacancy left by an injured player. Many great quarterbacks in football history sat on the sidelines learning from a starting quarterback until that quarterback got injured and they were the next man up to play the position. The greatness of that quarterback would have never been discovered had they not filled the position to be the next man up after the position became vacant.

Joshua was the next man up after Moses. Certainly, Moses was a great man of God, but Moses’ God was not limited to one person, but He looked for the next man up to step into that position, and that person was Joshua. God told Joshua when he stepped up, “as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee:” God was saying several things with this statement.

First, God was saying that He is never limited to one man. He is able to use anyone who is willing to step up and step into the vacancy that another person has left. If God’s ability to use people was limited to one individual then He is a very weak God. The God that used people in the past can use you if you will step up and fill the vacancy that someone has left. God has used many people throughout history. Certainly, when a great man has passed off the scene, it can be daunting to have to fill that position, but the God that was with them can be with you if you will yield to Him and do the same works that brought God’s blessings on their life.

Second, God was saying that if He didn’t believe that you could do the job, He would not have asked you to step up. God never calls someone to fill a position that He doesn't equip for the task. If God asks you to do something for Him, He has already given you the ability to do it, even though you may wonder if you are capable. You just need to trust God that He will be with you as He was with others who have done what He asks you to do.

Third, God is saying that He gave you the opportunity to watch the past generation so that you could do what they had done. The fact that God allowed you to see firsthand what He did through others was God’s way of giving you the knowledge and wisdom to do the task that He asks you to do. Joshua learned at the feet of Moses not realizing that he was the next man up. God let you learn from great men of the past because He knows that you are the next man up.

Now the question that needs to be asked is, what are you going to do with the vacancy? Great servants of the past became great servants because they filled a vacancy that nobody else would fill. These great servants of God would have never been discovered had they not stepped up when the vacancy availed itself. You can sit and wait for someone to step in and fill the vacancy, or you can step up and see what God can do with you if you will simply fill that vacancy that needs someone to fill it.

Let me ask you, will you be the next believer up for a bus route or a Sunday school class? Will you be the next believer up to win the lost to Christ? Great Christians never knew they were great; they just stepped up when a position became vacant and God revealed their greatness because of their availability.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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