"So Joshua ordered the officers of the people." --Joshua 1:10
I used to dread 5th period math. Oh, I was fine with numbers, but it was the getting to my math class that had me shaking in my little boots. Each day that semester, a small group of bullies would hang out by my locker, calculating ways to torment me until one day, I got smart and asked my Bubba to walk me to class. Little did they know that the skinniest kid in school was the younger brother of the toughest. They -- uhh -- they did the math.
In our passage today, Moses has just died and the responsibility fell on Joshua. In preparing Joshua to address the people, you notice God say things like, "Nobody will be able to stand against you," (v. 5) "Be strong and courageous," (v. 6) "Be strong and very courageous," (v. 7) and then again God finishes his holy encouragement with, "Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (v. 9)
God walked Joshua to class.
You know, I don't remember ever being scared again on the way to math. Not because of who I was, but because of who walked with me that day. If you notice, God didn't tell Joshua, "Chin up, you have the power, trust your instincts, believe in yourself." No, God knew Joshua could stand tall because he wouldn't be alone. And what was Joshua's response? After nine verses of God's assurance, we learn Joshua didn't hesitate. That's right. He ordered. He commanded. He pushed forward in faith and trust.
Folks, faith says that there aren't enough problems waiting around today's corner that can add up or stand up to the One you bring with you. Life hits hard. Life can bully. And if we rely on our "selves," we do have reason to fear. But like Joshua and that skinny fifth grader, you and I don't walk to class alone.
For Discussion: Hope you've enjoyed taking a look at Joshua and Caleb this week. Such dreamers and fighters. What are you facing that needs your absolute faith and trust that God is with you? Health, financial, relationships, hardships? What can we be praying with you about?
Additional Reading: Hey everyone, the grandson of Billy Graham writes a wonderful blog on The Gospel Coalition. His name is William Graham Tullian Tchividjian. Oh guys, the Gospel Coalition, specifically Pastor Scotty and Pastor Tullian have been an enormous source of strength for me over the last month or two. Tough times have really compelled me to dig deep into grace and trust. These giants of the faith have really helped. I post this particular entry from Pastor Tullian because it speaks about how it's not our strength. It's a must-read. If you take the few extra minutes, enjoy. I want to be just like these guys.
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