There is a tendency to focus one’s confidence on specific people. People such as a CEO, a coach, a star athlete on a team, a top-performing employee, or one’s biggest customer. It may seem as if all would be lost if this person were gone.
One of the reasons this does not work out well is that people change. They may become injured, they may move, die or leave; or they may simply change their priorities. For the most part, people are not a guaranteed constant. It’s a dangerous gamble to rely solely on one person and to think that this is the only person who can do the job, play the part, or fill the position.
I’ve wondered what Moses, Joshua and the people of Israel were thinking and feeling when after 40 years, Moses stepped down from his role as the leader of Israel. I would imagine there were mixed emotions on everyone’s part – uncertainty, excitement, concern, sadness, anticipation. As interesting as that is to me, it is more important to know what God was thinking. God made it clear that He was very pleased with Moses. God even spoke to Moses, “face to face as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11). While the people of Israel may have been focused on Moses, God was preparing a new leader, and that was Joshua. God made it clear that He would not leave the people of Israel and their new leader. He assured them – “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8 and Joshua 1:5).
The other reason this focused reliance is a bad idea is that it reflects a perspective that God is limited by the greatness or mediocrity of people. God is limitless. He can make great things happen through anyone, anytime, anywhere. Often, those we see as unqualified are just the people God chooses to do His work.
God is with us at all times. Because of this, we can be strong and courageous. There is no reason to be afraid or discouraged, whether you are losing a significant person in your life, or filling the shoes of that person. You can be certain that when your focused confidence is on God, and not a person, you never will be disappointed.