Passage: Joshua 1
Joshua worked with Moses for 40 years. Now Moses was dead and Joshua was taking over his position. The people of Israel were pretty evil. Every time things didn’t go their way, they wanted to go back to Egypt. Many times they wanted to kill Moses. They were lazy with spiritual things and strong in their flesh. God told Joshua he would lead those people to Canaan.
Joshua was afraid. Moses was gone. His mentor and spiritual leader was gone. He knew that the Israelites weren’t good; he watched them struggle and come against Moses for 40 years and knew who they were. Now God was telling him to lead them into the Promised Land. No wonder he was scared. He figured that if Moses, that powerful man of God, couldn’t do it, how could he?
He also knew the people of Canaan were evil and wicked. They were giants and strong to fight. He knew the people of Israel were complainers. Joshua was 40 years old when he first went to spy out the land of Canaan. Now he was 80 years old. He was much older now.
God spoke to Joshua in 1:8 and said, “Meditate on My Word.” He promised that if he meditated on His Word and kept His commands that Joshua would have great success.
When you study the Word, God is very pleased.
Joshua felt like the assignment that God had given him was too much for him. He was concerned. He was scared. That’s why God told him over and over again to be bold and brave and courageous. That’s why God told him that He would be with him and never leave him.
When you have an assignment in front of you that scares you, remember that God is with you. Be brave and be bold and be strong.
Why do you feel unsettled and scared?
#1 You feel like you are all alone, like God is not with you
If you believe that God is with you, you will not feel like you are alone.
In 1 Kings 18, when Elijah believed that God was with him, he destroyed 850 false prophets. (1 Kings 18:32-40) Elijah believed that God was with him so he was strong and brave.
When we believe that God is not with us, we become very fearful. We become afraid of things that aren’t even a concern.
#2 You feel insecure about your future; you don’t see a future for yourself
When you feel insecure about the direction of your life, you hold onto what you have right now. You become afraid of losing something that you have right now because you aren’t sure what is going to happen in your future.
You can be secure in the Lord. God says in His Word that He will take care of your future.
When Samuel told King Saul that he was losing the kingdom because of his sin, he became very afraid and paranoid. (1 Samuel 13:13-14) After this word, Saul knew that his future was not secure. He felt uneasy and paranoid. He didn’t trust anyone and felt like people were always coming against him. He became very miserable and jealous. He made many wrong choices out of paranoia.
#3 You have committed sin
Adam and Eve felt fear for the first time after they sinned and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 3:8-10)
After they disobeyed God, they became fearful and ran away from God. Their lives became miserable because of their guilt and fear. They didn’t trust anyone.
Sin causes us to lose confidence before God.
#4 You have lost spiritual strength
When you lose spiritual strength, it doesn’t matter what else you have. Even if you have possessions, money, family, friends, position, you don’t really care about any of it. When you lose spiritual strength, you start to live like a beast. Life becomes miserable. You lose interest and desire with everything.
Satan’s goal is to make Christian people weak and powerless. Spiritual weakness is a very dangerous condition.
Joshua 1:1-16 mentions “be strong, be brave” four different times. Finally, Joshua trusted God and His promise and moved forward. Joshua held onto God’s promise.
Every place that you walk will be yours. That is God’s promise. (Joshua 1:3) God has promised us great success when we meditate on His Word and keep His commands. (Joshua 1:8)
You must fix your heart to receive the promises of God in your life. You must meditate on His Word. You must keep His commandments. You must take off your own shoes. You must walk in the land God is giving to you. You must be strong and bold and courageous. You must be obedient. You must be pure and humble.
2018 is our starting point.
God bless you,
Pastor Sun East
More in this series:
Part 2: What causes spiritual weakness?
Part 3: Strength comes through obedience
Part 4: Obeying God means laying down your life
Part 5: You must do your part to walk in great success