“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. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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 terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:7-9
Joshua 1:9 is one of my favorite Bible verses. I claim its promise that God will be with me wherever I go whenever I move, whenever I take on something new. And as I claim the promise, I often pray, “Lord, please make me strong and courageous as You go with me into this new land.”
As comforting and encouraging as that is, God pointed out something else to me. First, and probably most obvious, “Be strong and courageous” is a command. God gives it first in verse 6 and repeats it in verses 7 and 9. Notice, here He doesn’t say, “Ask me for strength and courage” (though He wants us to, and we most certainly can). He’s saying, “Just do this! Be strong and courageous.” In other words, it’s an instruction to obey, a choice we make. Knowing our all-powerful God is with us, we choose to be strong and brave. We trust.
How do we make this choice—to move forward with confidence? We are careful to obey God’s Word (see verses 7-8). We study it. We meditate on it. We memorize portions of it. We live with it. We live it. We’re careful not to turn to the right or the left, but to do what it says. Then we know we’re doing God’s Will. This gives us the confidence we need to be strong and brave.
When we live obediently, God is with us always. With His Presence, there’s no need to be afraid.
Thank You, Lord! Help us learn Your Word and Your Will that we can walk fearlessly wherever You lead. Walking with You is where we most want to be. We love You, Lord! Amen.