I had a Starbuck’s date with a friend about a week ago and she completely got my life together. Listen, you need people who you can do life with that makes your baby leap, okay? I’m talking Mary and Elizabeth style leap (Luke 1:39-45). Any who, we were talking about life and she was saying how she read Joshua 1:9 and the fact that God gave Joshua a command really hit her one day.
God didn’t just tell Joshua to be strong and courageous; before He tells him that, He says, “This is My command.” Hold up, wait a minute...that’s a game changer folks! It’s so easy to encourage ourselves with the “be strong and courageous” part and the reminder that the Lord is with us, but those aren’t the most important parts of this text. The key is that before God says any of that, He tells our friend Josh, “This is My command.” In other words, “be strong and courageous” is an instruction. It’s not just a good pick me up to say, nor is it simply a suggestion or recommendation. He commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous.
I laughed to myself as I read this because for a moment I thought why? Then I could imagine God replying as any great parent would with the infamous one liner, “Because I said so!” Alright, it’s settled then! If you pay attention, however, you’ll see that God actually answers the why multiple times. He tells Joshua to be strong and courageous two other times before He commands Him to do so in verse 9. Each time He said this to Joshua it was right before He gave him instruction on his assignment. I love this because it helps to put into perspective that God already knew the why! Let’s break it down right quick:
Verse 6: Be strong and courageous,
The Why: for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.”
Verse 7: Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do
The Why: Because I just gave you the tools you will need to be successful.
Verse 9: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
The Why: For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
So, God told Joshua to “be strong and courageous” because He knew Joshua was the person who could
handle the assignment, He provided him with all the tools necessary to be successful, and He would be with him wherever he went. Tell me that’s not good stuff right there?!
What makes it even better is the reality that if He did it for our boy Jo Jo, what makes us think that we don’t have the same qualifications to be strong and courageous for where it is that God is leading us to? You have to trust where He’s leading you because He’s confident in His choice in you. He knows that you’re the one to get the job done, but do you? Do you not think that as God is giving you vision, instructions, and calling you out of your comfortable place, that He doesn’t already know that you’re qualified to handle where He’s leading you to next? Do you really think He would lead you somewhere to see you fail or to a place that He wouldn’t go with you? He’s given you His word and that’s all the tools you need to be successful!
I know it can be easier to say than to believe it, but be strong and courageous walking in the assignment that God has given you. The reason it is an instruction is because He already knows that you won’t fail if you allow Him to lead the way. I want to encourage you to surrender to His will today. Lay down your questions, worries, frustrations, doubts, fears, and everything else. Trust Him in the midst of transition. Trust that He is a good good Father, even when what you may be experiencing doesn’t feel good. Trust that He will never lead you down a path that He hasn’t already gone before you. He’s assigned you to this task and assignment because He knows that you can handle it. He’s prepared you, and now He needs you to walk boldly and courageously into this new season because this is what He equipped you for. Yes, it will likely be hard, yes, this may be the biggest sacrifice you’ve ever had to make, yes, you may have questions, but just go. Go in faith and trust that He will be with you.
Stay classy, keep it holy