Where do you want to go? What do you hope to accomplish on your life’s journey? Do you have a plan?
I remember the excitement I felt when I graduated from high school and began my first year of college. I opened my university’s list of limitless degrees and began tracing my steps through each class, envisioning the day when I would finally walk across that stage and receive my degree.
Every year I would do the same thing; tracing my fingers across the pages of classes offered, anxious to finish my journey, but thankful for the things I had already accomplished. Sometimes I felt I would never see the end. Work loads would pile high and pressures to achieve pulled me under. It was difficult to stay afloat. Yet, with God’s help, I finally made it.
The book of Joshua begins with a new adventure. Moses had died, closing a chapter in the lives of the Israelites. Joshua had now been appointed to lead the people into the land promised to them 440 years ago.
Can you imagine? Talk about perseverance! Day after day, week after week, year after year, they waited on the promise given to Abraham to be fulfilled. Here they were, 440 years later and Moses was dead.
Praise God for Joshua!
Read Joshua 1:1-9
As the book of Joshua unfolds, we hear God’s command: Obey.
God still held the 440 year old promise in His hands. He was ready and waiting. His desire was to fulfill that promise. God waited on His people to obey, observing the law (v.7) and continually meditating on it (v.8). How? With strength and courage.
Be Strong and Of Good Courage
Three times God commanded Joshua to be strong and of good courage (vs. 6,7,9). Thus, emphasizing the importance of complete obedience.
Joshua could only claim victory through obedience.
Friend, obedience takes strength and courage. We are cursed with a sinful nature.
Disobedience is the easiest path to travel. Look around you. The guilt and shame of disobedience imprisons the entire world.
Our humanity convinces us that doing things our way will satisfy. Our natural instinct is to go it alone, on our own human strength. Obedience takes a specific strength and courage that only comes through faith in God.
God warned Joshua, repeating this phrase three times because He knew the human frailty of rebellion.
For Christians there is the constant struggle within us to serve God or ourselves. We want to obey. We want to surrender our lives fully. Then why do we stumble?
We need divine strength and courage. Just as God commanded Joshua to meditate on the word day and night, He commands the same of us today. God doesn’t give us commandments to rule over us with an iron fist making our lives miserable. God knows that His Word within us will gives us the strength and courage we need to obey.
Even better, today, we live under the new covenant cut through the sacrifice of Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit to empower us with all the strength and courage we need to obey.
Ephesians 6: 17b “Taking the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” to fight against the wiles of Satan.
How about you? Are you drawing the sword of the Spirit on a daily basis?
As Ephesians 6:10 tells us, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
Our courage and strength is found in Him. Walk in it daily.