"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”"
Don’t you just love this command, these words and this promise that the Lord spoke to Joshua, the one chosen after the death of Moses to lead the people on, across the Jordan River and into the promised land?
“I promise you what I promised Moses. Wherever you set foot you will be on land I have given you. From the Negev Wilderness in the South to the Lebanon mountains in the North. From the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the West, including all the land of the Hittites. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you will be the one to lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to follow all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” The Lord then concludes His strong word of hope and encouragement with a command, “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.”
A strong promise was laid out before Joshua by a God who keeps His word. It was a strong promise but a sweet promise of comfort, consolation, encouragement and hope and it lay in Joshua’s hand, but not without obedience to His God. There would be much to fear and much to discourage in the journey, but God called Joshua to a life of faith, trust and obedience. No deviating from the book of instruction. No going his own way, or thinking he knew best. That was not in the plan for victory. No, Joshua was to strictly follow the Lord’s guiding instruction for the victory God had promised. To be strong and courageous without fear or discouragement was a command not an option. He was to live the life of faith in obedience, as he led God’s people through!
What’s God’s promise to you? As a believer our ultimate promise is eternal life with Him in Heaven. But what’s His promise to you now in your daily living? It’s that assurance that He’s spoken deep into your soul, in the sweet, quiet moments with Him! Claim it, stand on it! Cling to it! Don’t let it go. His Word is sure and steadfast. He doesn’t abandon His people nor does He leave us forsaken. His word, the bible is our instruction book. Strong and sweet with words that redeem, forgive, heal and speak life, peace, hope, encouragement and comfort into our discouragement and fears. Words to tuck into our heart and soul to bring strength into our weakest moments. March on against the foe, persevering in faith and obedience to the God who is in charge. Do not deviate to the left or to the right, but remain true in obedience to His Word. Tune your ears and listen for His next call, His next word, His next promise. Tune your heart and soul for His next word of encouragement. Be prepared to move into that place He has for you. Remember sweet child of God the promise that God spoke to Joshua, He whispers into your heart and soul that He is with you wherever you go.
I love how the Psalmist claimed the promise of God’s presence in Psalm 139: 9. Let’s know that we know that we know that…..
“ If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”