“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Have you ever had a situation that you were in that was so totally beyond your control? There is nothing you can do to sway it one way or the other, you simply have to wait and see how it will play out? Sure you have. We all have. I am in that type of situation right now. And while it is a very uncomfortable position to be in, I can also sit in a position of peace in it. IF I am leaning close to Jesus.
In this passage, Joshua was taking over the reins from Moses who had just died. Moses had been the leader of the Israelites for a long time, he had led them out of Egypt into the wilderness. He had led them through the wilderness. He had been the Israelites lifeline to God as their leader. He had governed them and taught them. He was God’s voice to them. Moses was a great leader and I can only try to imagine how Joshua must have been shaking in his sandals as he was taking over from Moses to lead and to continue this journey into the promised land. I can only imagine that he needed some encouragement to take the next steps. And that is what he received straight from the Lord. Verse 1 of this passage says that “the LORD spoke to Joshua”. These passages are straight from the LORD to Joshua. Surely hearing a word directly from the LORD bolstered some courage in Joshua.
Well my friends isn’t it so cool that we can go to God’s word to bolster our courage as well. When we are at the end of our ropes, the end of ourselves, the end of I don’t know what to do next and the only place left to go is to Him is unfortunately when some of us finally hand it all over to God and ask Him to lead. I want to be the person that asks Him to direct my steps every day and not end up at the end of myself. I do try. But sometimes we end up there anyway. This is when we can take verses like this and we can realize that no matter how our circumstances and our situation plays out if we belong to Him, He will go with us wherever we go. We don’t have to be frightened because our strength and our courage come from Him. Friends when the way is scary and unsure, when we do not know the next step, when we do not know whether to go right or left or straight ahead. When we don’t know what the future holds if we know who holds the future, we can keep walking it out.
When I get shaky and scared and don’t know what’s next I also try to pay attention to what is my background noise. What am I letting in that lends to the fear. I try hard to make sure that I am putting in thoughts that are good, lovely and pure. I will listen to sermons and teachings on podcasts, I will listen to praise and worship music. I will try to make sure that God’s voice in my ear is louder than the sounds of the world and of Satan that will lend to my fear. When you are afraid and you can’t seem to shake the fear, stop and pay attention to what you are allowing in. Go to His word and take verses like this and put them in front of you. Make a playlist on your phone of songs that remind you of God’s promises. Listen to a sermon in your car or at work. You may not hear every word as you work but what you are doing is silencing the background noise and when you put the good things in, it will surprise you how much stronger and more courageous you feel as you wait for your next step. Be strong my friends.