June 29, 2015
READ: Joshua 1:1-9
This is my command—be strong and courageous! (v.9).
One of my jobs, being a rock-climbing instructor, includes helping people overcome their fear of heights. I explain to them that the real issue isn’t falling, but hitting the ground. Then I remind my clients that they have the proper safety equipment and good anchor points—making it impossible for them to drop. One thing they need to grasp is that their mind is actually lying to them, and that they can override their panicky thoughts. Being up high is not dangerous in itself; it’s only dangerous without the right safety equipment. Talking this through with them can take a long time, but they usually end up pressing on.
How much simpler it is when God speaks to His people! “This is my command—be strong and courageous!” He said (Joshua 1:9). No discussion and no persuading—just get on with it! This could sound uncaring if it weren’t for the fact that God was talking to a man of faith, His servant Joshua. God was speaking to a man who knew Him! It’s a wonderful time and an enormous privilege when God asks His servants to do something that they find overwhelming—something that’s terrifying to them. For He will ask only those who know Him to step out in faith. He knows that they have the faith to respond in obedience, trusting in His keeping power and in His love that will never allow their foot to stumble!
Joshua had armies to fight with a rabble of a nation, and his great mentor was dead (v.1). He surely had reason to fear and to consider not trusting in God. But he did trust! He was “strong and very courageous” (v.7).
365-day-plan: Matthew 5:17-30
Read Judges 6:11-16 and consider the encouraging words Gideon received from the LORD.
What do you typically do when fear comes calling? How does the reality of God’s presence encourage you to be strong and courageous?