In Joshua chapter 1, God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous 3 times. Why? Let’s take a look at the events surrounding their encounter. Moses was the prophet who God chose to lead the people out of Egypt. Moses had led the people for 40 years in the wilderness. Deuteronomy 34:10-12 says that Moses did miraculous signs and wonders on the Lord’s behalf and that no one had ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all of Israel. That’s a big deal! Moses wore some pretty big shoes before he died. After his death, God put Joshua in charge of leading the people into the promised land. Let’s put some perspective on this moment: considering the big shoes Moses wore, Joshua may be feeling a bit of pressure to be like Moses and to lead like him. But remember, when Moses died he was still very strong and able to lead the people (Dt 34:7), so if God still wanted a leader like Moses he would have kept Moses alive. Joshua was faced with the fact that his leader was dead and now he was commanded to lead the people into the promised land. That’s a huge responsibility. On one note, just the thought of leading so many people can be intimidating and on the other hand, looking ahead at what you’ll be facing in the process can be even more intimidating. But no matter what Joshua’s new responsibility was or what challenges he was facing he had to remember that the Lord his God will be with him.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Many times God will lead you into some intimidating situations. In order to get to your promised land you will have to face difficult situations. It’s inevitable. What matters is how you face those uncomfortable seasons. If you go into a situation looking at the size of it, you’re going into it all wrong. If you’re going into a situation doubting your ability to get through it, you’re still going into it all wrong. If you’re going into it with all the reasons why you can’t do it, don’t even go any further. When you focus on what appears to be a problem in the natural sense, you’re making that problem your god. You’re making that problem bigger than God. Likewise, when you focus on you and your abilities, you’re focusing on you and what you can do in your own strength and if you’re facing anything that God is taking you through, that will discourage you. You have to remember that when God leads us into challenges, it’s not so we can focus on the challenge or us. That’s the time where we latch on to our faith in the mighty God we serve and understand that he is with us wherever we go. And if he is with us, he will surely give the whole land into our hands (Jos 2:24). So instead of focusing on the problem focus on how your faith is strengthened and how the season you are in is molding you for something greater than you: purpose.
The faith walk is not for the faint of heart. If Joshua would have been to afraid or paralyzed by his abilities to lead all those people into the promised land, God would have had to use someone else to do the job. He chose Joshua because he trusted him and knew that he had what it took to be a good leader for the people. God is choosing you for the task because you have the capacity to fulfill it. Joshua was chosen for such a time as then. And just like him, you are chosen for such a time as this. Do you want to get to your promised land? Good. I want you to as well. Remember, be very strong, very courageous and know that God is with you wherever you go. Have faith in him and know that his Word is true and he can not lie.
God is not human that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
Trust God. Let him lead you. Let him teach you. Let him love you. Let him grow you up. And let him strengthen you. The world needs you.
Meditate: Psalm 119:33-37 this week and send me your testimonies.