Text: Joshua 1:8-9
The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about courage lately. Since the beginning of this year, God has very much been at work in my heart, helping me to gain momentum in developing my dreams, desires, passions and gifts, and deploying them out where He has called. To do this, however, requires that I have courage. Courage to dream big. Courage to lift up bold prayers. Courage to take risky steps and follow where He leads. Courage to believe that no matter what happens, God’s got it all under control. And courage to be okay with who I am, just as I am, right here, right now.
It’s not always easy to have courage, is it? Especially when God is leading us to do things that nobody else around us seems to be doing or we’re being called to put ourselves out there on a more public platform. Let’s face it: it’s scary. We wonder what people will think of us and if they will like us. We worry that we won’t measure up to the size of the task before us or that we’ll fail altogether and make a spectacle of ourselves. We may dread what we are to do, get all worked up and anxious, or kick and scream, doing everything we can to avoid it. I think all of us have experienced varying degrees of this in our lifetimes.
The Israelites were certainly called to do something courageous for God – leave their homes to wander the wilderness in order to reach their Promised Land. We find them in the Book of Joshua following the death of their leader, Moses. Joshua is Moses’ assistant and has some pretty big shoes to fill. God knows how daunting the task is and how afraid Joshua must be, so in His love and grace, He speaks tenderly to him …
“In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”
Joshua 1:5-9, The Message
You can’t read this and not be moved. God is speaking right to the heart of the matter – fear – and assuring Joshua that through THICK and THIN, as long as Joshua relies on His Word and has the courage to trust, obey, and follow God, He will get him and the Israelites where they belong.
This is a powerful message. Not only for Joshua and the Israelites, but for all of us TODAY.
We have the very Word of God to direct us in this thing called life. It is our road-map, our flashlight, and our compass as we make our way from one end to the other, traversing hills and valleys along the way. We also have His Spirit within us to guide us, speak to us, and work in and around us. As we seek Him and put our hope and faith in His promises, we see Him provide for us in numerous ways. The more we see Him provide, the greater our faith increases and the further we are propelled toward the things and places He has promised us.
Friends, this is what cultivating courage looks like in our lives. And the result of cultivating courage is a life abundant, brimming with His fullness and goodness.
So, today and every day, let’s choose to be brave, courageous, and valiant; and let’s take God for His Word. We know that what He speaks will never return empty and accomplishes every purpose for which He sends it forth (Isaiah 55:11). Let’s believe and know in our deepest heart that He is with us and for us and that nothing compares to walking boldly and courageously with Him into our Promised Lands. They are ours for the taking!
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Join me in the coming weeks as I participate in the #SheReadsTruth #SheSharesTruth devotional writing challenge. Every Friday during Lent I’ll post a teaching on here based on Scripture(s) provided at the beginning of the week. I look forward to what the Lord will teach me and put on my heart to share with all of you through this journey. Thanks for following along!