My fear and God’s command.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)
When the Lord commands us to do something, the command is to supersede our emotional state.
The Israelites have been wandering around in the desert for 40 years. They have fought no one since coming out of Egypt when the Amalekites attacked them. Joshua led the fight, but it was Moses who stood high on the mountain holding up his arms to God that gave supernatural strength for the battle. Now, Moses was gone and battles were on the horizon. Joshua feared he was not enough. He feared the people weren’t ready. He feared the unknown. What is God’s response? “Be strong and courageous.” I can almost hear Joshua saying, “But God…” and God interrupting, “Just do it.”
Often our emotions render us helpless, but God is teaching us that we can choose to behave contrary to how we feel. This is an inordinately foreign concept today. Most live and die by their emotions. But God commands us to act and be according to His word, not our feelings.
He reminds Joshua of the promise, “I will be with you wherever you go.” We have to remember God’s promises and choose to believe them even when our hearts are full of fear and doubt. Either He is God as He says or He is not. This is the choice we make, but we have to make it fully. We can’t declare His omnipotence but choose to doubt. We must choose to believe.
Then, we force our lips to speak according to God’s promises. We force our bodies to move according to the promises. We make our face express faith, not fear. The fear is still there, but we ignore anything that denies the sovereignty of God, even if that which denies God comes from within our own hearts.
A little before our passage today, God reminds Joshua that He doesn’t need answers to his unknown dilemmas causing fear. This is for you and me today. We do not have to know the answers to how God will keep His promise. It’s above our paygrade as they say. God tells Joshua to simply follow the Word and live to please God, then God will win the battles, supply the answers, and provide the resources. Be strong and courageous.
Prayer: Lord, empower me to follow You full force even when my heart is steeped in doubt. You are God and I want to live like you are my God. Amen.
Daniel Cervantes JrMarch 4, 2022 at 8:01 pm
Great message! God is great!
Pastor LeeMarch 15, 2022 at 9:43 am