Be Strong and Courageous

Last night I had the privilege of sharing a devotional thought with the Elders at the Belton Church of Christ. I simply shared a short passage that has been resonating for me the past few months. It’s nothing new. It’s well known and well studied. In fact, this passage has been a reminder for our family (Gina actually reflected on it HERE). Many people have it memorized or painted on their walls. It’s Joshua 1:6-9:

“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 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.

I think about the reason that Joshua needed to hear this from God: Joshua was assuming the leadership of God’s people after Moses had died. Moses, the guy who had led Israel out of slavery in Egypt. Joshua was standing on the precipice of leading the people of God to conquer the Promised Land from many peoples.  Joshua must have been intimidated; terrified. And here comes God…”Don’t be afraid. Be strong.” And why should Joshua be strong and courageous? Because “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

b9ebc47d9ab17846c1772307158236fcAnd again, in Matthew 28:20…”And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” God’s presence brings peace and strength and comfort in the midst of the daunting task of Following His Call.

And then I was speaking with a friend this morning – a church planter – about the task of fundraising and starting new things. The reality of these things is that they are scary and discouraging; they are daunting. But we reminded each other of the truth: It’s God’s calling to begin with and He will provide for it. Our role is to simply be faithful and serve. To ask. To dream. To branch out and step out, trusting that He will be present with us.

How do you step out? This isn’t a Scripture for just missionaries and church planters, but for all of God’s people. How do you need to step out and follow Jesus, even if it’s scary or difficult? How can we pray for one another to “be strong and courageous” as we follow the One True King.

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