Rev. Mark Kincaid retired from the United States Army in 2002 and went into full time ministry. He and his wife Madbely, have a daughter, Yanishel, still living at home; and are blessed to have three more adult daughters and four grandchildren. Pastor Mark and his family arrived in Dade City, Florida in June 2016.
Pastor Mark served in the army for 25 years; is a combat veteran; and served with the 1st Infantry Division, the 1st Ranger Battalion, and 3rd, 5th and 7th Special Forces Groups.
Praise our Unchanging God!
Joshua 1: …Lord spoke to Joshua … “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people…I will not fail you or abandon you… This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go…be strong and courageous!”
When big changes come in life we often find it unsettling! Change can be an energizing force for progress … or, if not handled well can also be a force for stagnation and regression. First off, recognize that God Himself NEVER changes … this is the bedrock of our peace, security, and confidence when facing the past, present, and future! This is the anchor for dealing with all changes because He is the one thing that can be counted on to NOT change! Second, God always has someone at the ready to move His plans forward. His plans are never conditioned on just a single person though He uses single individuals as part of the process. Thirdly, God’s mission must continue on! We are invited to participate in His mission. CHANGE in the hand of the CHANGELESS God is safe and positive, and will yield good fruit to those that respond correctly and embrace it. The book of Joshua begins with a matter of fact statement of a major personnel change for Israel. It wasn’t that God or Israel simply “moved on;” they had mourned Moses’ death for 30 days. (Deut. 34:8) Although, appropriate to have emotions over changes, it is not appropriate to quit moving forward or simply stay in mourning. We know change is a part of life, and God’s plan, but for most of us, change is still not easy! It is good to recognize the past, appreciate it, and celebrate it; but continue to move forward! The Israelites had to embrace the future with new leadership, with an established mission, and an unchanging God! God’s power and strength to accomplish the mission stayed the same! God says simply, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” It is the CHANGELESS God that enables us to confront a changing world and move forward! It may be the end of one leader’s responsibilities, but it is not the end of the mission. Joshua was gifted differently than Moses, but their character and commitment were the SAME! Like Moses, Joshua had already been proven to have godly character, there was no doubt about his character, and no doubts about God … a great combination! God addresses Joshua to make the Word of God the defining guideline of his leadership … and if so he will be both prosperous and successful. (1:8) Godly leadership, it is not just about talents or gifts; it is mainly about character! Talents can be learned, and gifts developed, but without character they are nothing.
Like Moses before him, Joshua works with the existing leadership in place, Josh 1:10 “So Joshua ordered the officers of the people:” While some things changed, other things did not … the existing leadership in place had already embraced the mission, the goal, the promises of God, and Joshua works with them as a team member to get moving again. Good leadership is a shared experience, shared with others who have the same commitment to the Word of God, have proven character, and are not afraid to move forward no matter what. It is not Joshua that goes through the camp to tell the people; he gives this authority to other leaders; he trusts them to act as well.
Doing God’s work is not just about personal satisfaction, or even personal prosperity, it is about working together to achieve God’s purposes! The success of Israel to experience all God had promised was contingent more on their working together than it was on just a certain individual who led them. They had to unite in purpose. They had to support the new leader God raised up for them. They had to trust the promises of God. They had to have faith in the mission God had given them. THEN … change would not hurt them, and in fact, God would use the changes to still accomplish the mission. While personnel changed – character must not, confidence must not, and shared commitment must not. The results after change when they did it right? THE PROMISE LAND! God will move things forward even in the midst of change because He Himself never changes … and it is on Him we have our ultimate hope, not an individual.
The one thing that never changes is that everything except God changes! Because God doesn’t change we can be at peace when everything else around us does. God works in our changes to move us forward, never backward. In every change we can be sure God is planning for our good, moving us closer to Him. In this way we can not only embrace change but also welcome it. Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.