In certain philosophies and religions, and perhaps among persons who are uncertain of much more detail about the Creator of the Universe, God is simply known as “the one who moved first.” And while that doesn’t encapsulate a millionth of the fullness and greatness and overwhelmingly-big-ness of the Almighty that Christians believe in, in some ways, it’s a very good place to start.


As the Book of Joshua comes to a close, a recap is made, by the Lord, through the words of Joshua to the people of Israel. Starting back with the father of Abraham, God recounts the story of His faithfulness to set apart the children of Israel as His chosen people. Abraham is given Isaac; Isaac, Jacob and Esau; Jacob and his children go down to Egypt, and the Lord delivers them out of slavery. They cross the sea, dwell in the wilderness, and eventually the story is clear that they’ve been brought out to be brought in — into the fullness and goodness of a land God has promised them.

God makes a way before them…clears a path and delivers a land into their hands which they haven’t worked for, cities which they didn’t build. The story of Israel is the story of the faithfulness of God. He doesn’t make efforts to point out the shortcomings or doubts of His people — He tells the story of His faithfulness.

He moved first.

His moves were moves of faithfulness — a God choosing a people and blessing them. And as the story ends, so Joshua concludes: “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord!”

What does God ask for in response to His first move? A second move. Our move is a move toward faithfulness. A commitment to fear and to serve Him with all our hearts — and not to be divided between serving the Lord and serving other lowercase-g-gods.

Joshua famously makes his decision, his second move, clear. In response to the faithfulness of God he says “You must choose who you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

It’s interesting that the Book of Joshua doesn’t begin with the people’s choice to serve God. That is never the story. The story is always of the God who is looking for me and for you. He moves first. He demonstrates His goodness and faithfulness — clearly seen even in His creation — and then it’s our move.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” {John 15:16}

In view of the mercies and goodness of God, here we stand each day, always presented with the opportunity of the second move.

He gives you this day, you choose how to live it.

He gives you this breath, you choose how to breathe it.

He gives you this heart, you choose what to devote it to.

What a glorious and golden privilege it is that the Creator of the Universe, the One who Moved First, daily extends the invitation to each of us: yours is the second move.