Read Joshua 1:1-9
As Joshua was invited to step forward and lead God’s people into the Promised Land, there were certainly reasons that he might cower in fear. Perhaps you can identify with some of those reasons.
- He would fill some huge shoes! Moses left quite a void. It is always easier to follow a failure than it is an all-star!
- He would face some enormous opposition! The land was occupied by other people groups. In fact, he had been there before and witnessed powerful people (some of them were GIANTS) living in large, fortified cities (Num. 13:27-32).
- He would lead some obstinate people. These were the children of those who had repeatedly dragged their feet in rebellion to God’s plan.
In today’s reading, God gave Joshua some great reasons to counter fear with courage. Ultimately, He promised Joshua success. Although Moses’ shoes were big, they would be filled by Joshua as God came alongside of him (v. 5b). Even though the opposition was real, no one would be able to stand against Joshua (v. 5a). In spite of the Israelites history of rebellion, they would possess the land (v. 2).
We are not always like Joshua and the Israelites. In the things we set out to do, God doesn’t always promise us the successful outcome or the fulfillment of our dreams. Still, we can have the same kind of courage. We can have courage as we recognize God’s abiding presence. That was not a unique promise given to Joshua. It is actually restated for all believers in Christ in Hebrews 13:5. Nothing can separate you from His omnipresence (Ps. 139) and His endless love (Rom. 8:35-39).
Like Joshua, we can have courage as we trust God’s eternal word. Did you catch the instruction about the Law? Joshua was to read it, meditate on it, and obey it. If you infuse these practices in your life, you will discover that you are walking in step with the Lord. He will guide you. If you abide in His word, you will know what to ask and will experience His answers (Jn. 15:7).
You and I can live courageously as we walk in His presence and live out His word.