Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 ESV
I remember well one of my machine gun rapid fire in a hurry prayers. My son, Jonathan, joined one of our evangelistic trips to the country of Colombia. We gave away Spanish New Testaments and shared the gospel message through interpreters. We were invited into schools, churches and on college campuses.
One time Jonathan and I boarded a bus and handed Bibles to the passengers. As the bus was about to leave, I got off. The door closed and drove away…with Jonathan still on the bus. Neither of us had a cell phone and we spoke limited Spanish. “Oh, God!”, my prayer began.
Joshua was on one side of the Jordan looking at the promised land, which he had entered 40 years earlier. Now, with Moses dead, he would be the leader to take the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. Repeatedly God restates His charge to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Most of us like to be in control of our future. We plan our days, our work schedules, our travel, where we need to be and when, our conversations, and when and how much money to spend. It is unsettling to realize that WE ARE NOT in control of the next second of our lives. Our next breath is a gift from God who is ultimately in charge of the next moment.
God alone is the only one who is already in the future of our next moment. When He spoke to Joshua to be strong and courageous, He already knew about Jericho and Ai. God understood the difficulty of the task, because He is already in the future. And in that future place of our lives, He promises His continued abiding presence.
I am not sure how our free will choices and God’s plan collides together in our lives. I know He leads us down paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Sometimes we choose to go our own way. Yet, even then, God is still with us. No matter where I find myself wandering down the path of “my own way”, God has an exit strategy to allow me to repent (change the way I think, believe, and act to line up with His ways). He is still with me.
On this Fear Not Friday, be strong and courageous. That hard thing in front of you today, God is already present to be there with you. Make the phone call, have the discussion, fill out the paperwork, get checked out at the doctor, or communicate forgiveness, God will be with you to lead and speak to you by His spirit.
God’s love is available to all. What He said to Joshua is a promise of commitment to you as His child. Take some time to meditate on this verse and receive strength and encouragement.
My rapid fire prayer went something like this, “Oh God! Pam told me to take care of Jonathan, and now I have lost him in a foreign country. I have no idea where that bus is even going. This could be the last stop in this little town. What am I going to do? Oh God, speak to Jonathan. Give him the wisdom necessary to find me once again. I place my trust in You.” I received a little bit of peace knowing that God is big enough to handle my problem, but I still continued to pray.
After what seemed like an eternity, Jonathan came strolling from around the corner of another building with that smile and Jonathan chuckle all over his face. He told us that the bus rounded the corner beyond my site and made one more stop. Jonathan got off and made his way back. He was never afraid, not for one moment. I guess he thought that was my job as a parent.
Be strong and courageous.
Blessings Love y’all