Joshua 1: BE STRONG!

Joshua 1: BE STRONG!

Last week as we finished our series on worry, I shared with you 10 Spiritual Disciplines which will better prepare us for the ‘ups and downs’ of life. Paul admonished us to ‘train ourselves for godliness….’ (I Timothy 4:7)  I believe there is nothing more important in training oneself for godliness that study of God’s word, day and night. Nothing can substitute for it.  To be healthy, strong Christians we must have a steady diet of the milk and meat of the Scripture. Then exercise through obedience to the Word of God and this will make us STRONG.  The word, strong, led me to the Book of Joshua for in the very first chapter, Joshua is commanded four times to be: strong and courageous. I believe you will see immediately why this book is so important for us. It is a guidebook for victory in the Christian life. Here is the background leading up to this story.

Wilderness wandering refers to the plight of Israel due to their disobedience and unbelief. God had delivered the His people from Egyptian bondage as described in Exodus 1-12.  They were to take possession of the land God had promised their forefathers, a land ‘flowing with milk and honey.” Prior to entry, they sent 12 spies into the land to explore the land and the people who inhabited it. Ten of the twelve came back and reported, the people were giants and they could not possibly defeat them. Two of the twelve, Joshua and Caleb believed they could take the land because God had promised it to them.

But the people believed the majority of the spies rather than God. Today are we as Christians letting the majority of the people keep us from living in the Promised Land?  Are many of us as Christians now walking by sight and not by faith? Have we believed the majority report? This generation would die in the wilderness, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, because they walked by sight and not by faith. Their unbelief displeased God, for with without faith we cannot please God. Know this: God will never lead us where His grace cannot provide for us and His power protects us.

We are told to ‘walk by faith and not by sight’. Liberty and freedom are two words which we often confuse. Liberty is the right to choose right or wrong. Freedom is always the result, the consequence of choosing right. It is for freedom which Christ set us free. (Galatians 5)   *Read Joshua 1:1-9

Looking at our society today and the state of the church, the Body of Christ, we see a church the Lord describes as lukewarm which needs to wake up and strengthen what remains. If we as believers in the 21st century want to hold on to what we have- we must be strong and courageous.  A recent movie, “The Help” had within it a powerful line. It is in a dialogue between a mother and her daughter. The mother realizing her views of race were wrong says to her daughter who has stood up for what was right: “Sometimes courage skips a generation. Thank you for bringing it back to our family.” Courage had skipped a generation in the nation of Israel. It was the very generation which had witnessed the mighty power of God in freeing them from Israel. Yet when they came to the edge of the Promised Land and sent spies in to see what they faced, they grew fearful and decided to walk by sight, not by faith. As a result they spent 40 years, a generation, living in the wilderness. Only two of the spies were willing to walk by faith- Joshua and Caleb. They would be the only two from that generation who would be allowed to enter into the Promised Land.

Let us look at what Joshua faced. For in many ways I see similarities in our generation, we can observe in the generation after Moses. Our parents and grandparents have been deemed the ‘greatest generation’ of the 20th century.  We saw their determination in a devastating depression of the 1930’s and we saw their bravery in battle in World War II. Now it is time for our generation and we each need to be strong and courageous- we need to see what God’s plan for us is at this time.  For surely we have wandered in the wilderness for too long.

Joshua was a man with a courageous heart. Moses was a great and revered leader. Moses was dead and Joshua was being called upon by the Lord to do what Moses had not been allowed to do- lead the people into the Promised Land. Joshua had known Moses and looked up to him since he was a young man, not much more than a boy.

Let’s see how Joshua stepped up to become one of Israel’s greatest leaders.  Where did his strength and courage come from? How did he gain such confidence?  I also realized as I began to think about what had occurred in the life of Joshua, it was he and Caleb who were the only ones left from the generation who refused to go in and take the Promised Land.  Which means- Joshua and Caleb were the two oldest men in the camp of Israel.    We cannot make excuses based on our age as being the reason God is not using us.

Our belief determines our behavior. Joshua believed God was all- powerful. Do you?

Joshua believed God kept His promises. Do you?

Joshua believed God was always with him.  Do you? If you said yes to these three questions- you can be strong and courageous also- just like Joshua, regardless of your age!  Paul told us in Philippians 4 we are think on things that are true, noble and praiseworthy and we are to keep thinking on those things. We are to replace those thoughts which want to defeat us or lead us in the wrong direction by keeping on thinking on those things which are true- because as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

We need this message. We need to be strong and courageous. Christians today are living in defeat and fear.  We do not look and live like victors; we look and live like victims. We are soldiers, each and every one of us.  Paul said: “You must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Timothy 2: 3, 4)   General Douglas MacArthur said, “In war there is no substitute for victory.”

I don’t know about you, but I have had my fill of wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.  I want to enter the Promised Land.  Joshua was a witness to the miracles in Egypt described in Exodus. He saw the power and might of God Almighty.  Joshua is mentioned in Exodus 17:14 for his military prowess and courage, as we read: “So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with his sword.”  God was preparing Joshua to be a general decades before he took command.   God was training a leader.   Make the most of every opportunity, for you can never tell when God is taking your measure for an important role He wants you to play. Pay attention to those opportunities as well as those natural gifts God has given you.

Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies who came back with a favorable report on the Promised Land, saying we can trust God to provide the victory. Joshua was willing to stand up against the majority. Are we ready to stand up to the majority? Do we have the courage to speak up?

This historical account is also an illustration for how believers today can say good-bye to the carnal life of the wilderness and enter into the rich inheritance in Jesus Christ.  It explains how to meet our enemies, defeat them and how to claim for ourselves all that is ours, promised to us by the Lord. If this sounds too good to be true- I want to assure you God is the same today, as He was yesterday as He will be tomorrow.

GEOGRAPHY LESSON

The locations in the Bible are not only geographical, historical and actual locations; they are also illustrations of our spiritual experience. Let us consider: Egypt for here is where this story of Joshua started.

Egypt was a place of death and bondage- a picture of the world. When we were lost, we were enslaved to sin, as surely as the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptian slave masters. How were they finally delivered from their slavery? By the blood of the Lamb and the power of God. Jesus Christ was and is the Lamb of God who took away our sin and delivered us, set us free from bondage and judgment. It was from Kadesh Barnea the spies were sent out and the decision to not enter the land was made. They decided to walk by sight rather than faith. The result was disastrous.

The Wilderness in which Israel wandered for 40 years represents the believer living in carnal suburbs of unbelief and disobedience. Deceived and disobedient and therefore unable to enter into the rest and riches of the Promised Land, just as we cannot enter into the rest and riches of Jesus Christ because of our disbelief. The Jews were delivered from Egypt but failed to enter into the Promised Land. For this reason they spent the next 40 years living in the defeat of carnality. They never enjoyed the fullness of what God had planned for them.  They refused to walk by faith and chose to walk by sight. Have you come to a place where you do not believe God is able to deliver you into the Land of His Promises? Are you living your life like a commuter who visits the Promised Land on occasion, but for the most part live in the wilderness- believing you cannot trust the One who took you out of Egypt by the blood of the Lamb and His mighty power to take you into the Promised Land?

Canaan represents the Christian life as it ought to be: the abundant spirit-filled life, but also a life of:   conflict and victory, faith and obedience, spiritual riches and rest. Trusting our General, Our Leader of the Armies of Heaven, King Jesus. Crossing over Jordan is not death and Canaan is not heaven. God made a way to cross the Jordan, He parted the waters. Jesus made a way for us to live the abundant, spirit-filled life, it is by faith we live it.

Verse 1:  “After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses aide: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all the people get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them- the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. “

God then explained the extent of the land He had promised the Israelites.  Then comes a promise of great encouragement to Joshua.  “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

If we are to have courage- we need someone or something to encourage us.  God will encourage us, as He encouraged Joshua- with His Word, His Promises, His Presence, His Peace and His Power. At this time all Joshua and the nation of Israel had was the Law, the first five books given to Moses by God.  Yet this was enough, for the promise of the land was given to the nation of Israel.    This geographical location was important. The prophet Ezekiel said Jerusalem was “in the center of nations.” God chose the land of Israel to be the center stage on which He would launch His plan of redemption for the world.   Is it not interesting that all the eyes of the world today are on the ancient land mass of Europe, Asia and Africa and the geographical center- Israel in the center.  All eyes are on that part of the world and for Christians we look at Israel, for we know this is also where history will end.  It was here 2000 years ago, we divided time from then on as before the Lord came and after He came.  It is here, time as we know it will end and merge into eternity.

It was in Israel on an obscure mount, the Lord Jesus was crucified by the most powerful world empire, Rome. The Roman Empire is a footnote in history.  Augustus Caesar is a name scarcely remembered, and then only because of the incident which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus would be born.  The name of Jesus is above all names.

Joshua is given a three-fold mission:

  1. Enter into the land.
  2. Defeat the enemy.
  3. Claim the inheritance.

Do you see this is exactly what our orders are now?

We are to enter into the Promised Land, the Spirit filled life, the Abundant Life. Canaan is not heaven; Canaan is the life God has promised us. It is a life which is a new beginning and a series of new beginnings.  It is a series of conflicts as we find new enemies in each season of life as we claim our inheritance.

We must be able to defeat the enemy. We must be trained as soldiers of the cross.

We must claim the inheritance, in spite of the enemy which says it is not ours to claim.

WE must learn how to fight. We will possess our inheritance one step at a time, wherever we set our feet. How much longer must we wait to possess what is ours?

Everything the nation of Israel did either brought glory to God or disgrace to the name of God. Based on their obedience or disobedience they experience the blessings or curses of God.  We could say the same of America.

First of all we must realize what was true for Joshua and Israel is true for us.

God has given us His Promises. And to live in and by those is to live the abundant life in the Promised Land. It is to walk by faith in the promises of the One who cannot lie.  Now as we study this story, we will see even when we enter the Promised Land there will be battles, just as Joshua and the Israelites faced.  But God has promised us no one will be able to stand up against us. God says I will be with you. I will never leave you or forsake you.  Paul would later ask the question:  If God is for us- who can be against us?  Paul also told us we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven.  Peter told us by His divine power, God has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him.

The instructions are clear:  we must be strong and courageous. This was a prerequisite for God fulfilling his promises. Joshua had to exercise his faith. He had to take the steps of faith. This is where God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility meet. Where did Joshua get the strength and courage to step out by faith?  Joshua got it the same place we will get it- from God’s Word and His Promises. It came from meditating on His Word day and night.  Got a busy schedule?  So did Joshua. He was now responsible for 2,000,000 people who had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.  We must be careful to meditate on the Word of God for this is how the Spirit uses the power of the living word to become part of our inner being and change the way we think.  When we obey the Word of God we become stronger in our faith.

How does one become strong physically?  By exercising our muscles through a series of repetitions which provide resistance to our muscles thus strengthening them. Adversity is to our faith what exercise is to our muscles.  Overcoming the resistance to obey God and walk by faith increases our faith. And Paul says faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Let’s look carefully at this story as our guidebook for victory. First the land which was described as flowing with milk and honey is ours for the taking.  How much of this abundant land was theirs for the taking?  God said He was giving Israel everywhere they set their feet.  In other words, you and I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1)

God will never give you more than you are ready to take. If you want more, you must take the step of faith to obtain it for you must set your feet upon it. Paul said he did not consider himself as one who had obtained everything God had provided, but he kept pressing on to higher ground.

We have discovered by now, as Joshua and the Israelites would discover- the Promised Land is a land of abundance but also a land filled with conflict. The enemy does not want you to advance any further. In fact, the enemy of your soul wants you to live in the wilderness. But every conflict can be a victory.

We must learn how to fight the good fight, keeping the faith and pressing on.  Have you discovered by now; coming into the land of God’s promise of an abundant life will always result in conflict.

After giving them the promise of the land, God tells them there will be conflict but assures them of His presence. Let’s read this verse from Joshua 1: 5-9 again:

“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you.”  God has promised us beforehand, those who oppose us will not be able to stand before you all the days of your life. He then tells us why- because He, Almighty God will be with us, just as He was with Moses. Leading us- going before us, our shield, and our rock our very present help in time of trouble. He provides the armor, the weapons which are mighty and divine which will pull down the strongholds of the enemy as He will bring down the walls of Jericho. God says they cannot stand against you.

Next God tells us we must be strong and courageous. “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous.”  God is telling us it is going to take courage.  The pressure to conform is like nothing we have experienced in our lifetime. We cannot allow ourselves to drift aimlessly along with the crowd. We must set our anchors, His Word, His Promises, His Power and Presence to hold against the strong current coming against the believer in the 21st century.  I believe the enemy senses his time is drawing nigh and has thus ramped up his attack.

We are then instructed to meditate on the Word of God day and night.  Meditation keeps the word from departing; it becomes a part of your inner being. It is hidden in your heart through meditation, daily intake of Scripture.   Your mind is being transformed.

And in verse 9 God reminds us: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

We have the presence of the Holy Spirit and an obedient heart will empower the Spirit to provide us with strength and courage to step out by faith and lay claim to all God has given us.

Joshua’s name means: God is salvation.  These things were written down for our instruction in the ages to come. (I Cor. 10:11)

This book is a very important book for the church in the 21st century.

Here we will learn how to BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!

Joshua 1: BE STRONG!

Last week as we finished our series on worry, I shared with you 10 Spiritual Disciplines which will better prepare us for the ‘ups and downs’ of life. Paul admonished us to ‘train ourselves for godliness….’ (I Timothy 4:7) I believe there is nothing more important in training oneself for godliness that study of God’s word, day and night. Nothing can substitute for it. To be healthy, strong Christians we must have a steady diet of the milk and meat of the Scripture. Then exercise through obedience to the Word of God and this will make us STRONG. The word, strong, led me to the Book of Joshua for in the very first chapter, Joshua is commanded four times to be: strong and courageous. I believe you will see immediately why this book is so important for us. It is a guidebook for victory in the Christian life. Here is the background leading up to this story.
Wilderness wandering refers to the plight of Israel due to their disobedience and unbelief. God had delivered the His people from Egyptian bondage as described in Exodus 1-12. They were to take possession of the land God had promised their forefathers, a land ‘flowing with milk and honey.” Prior to entry, they sent 12 spies into the land to explore the land and the people who inhabited it. Ten of the twelve came back and reported, the people were giants and they could not possibly defeat them. Two of the twelve, Joshua and Caleb believed they could take the land because God had promised it to them.
But the people believed the majority of the spies rather than God. Today are we as Christians letting the majority of the people keep us from living in the Promised Land? Are many of us as Christians now walking by sight and not by faith? Have we believed the majority report? This generation would die in the wilderness, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, because they walked by sight and not by faith. Their unbelief displeased God, for with without faith we cannot please God. Know this: God will never lead us where His grace cannot provide for us and His power protects us.
We are told to ‘walk by faith and not by sight’. Liberty and freedom are two words which we often confuse. Liberty is the right to choose right or wrong. Freedom is always the result, the consequence of choosing right. It is for freedom which Christ set us free. (Galatians 5) *Read Joshua 1:1-9
Looking at our society today and the state of the church, the Body of Christ, we see a church the Lord describes as lukewarm which needs to wake up and strengthen what remains. If we as believers in the 21st century want to hold on to what we have- we must be strong and courageous. A recent movie, “The Help” had within it a powerful line. It is in a dialogue between a mother and her daughter. The mother realizing her views of race were wrong says to her daughter who has stood up for what was right: “Sometimes courage skips a generation. Thank you for bringing it back to our family.” Courage had skipped a generation in the nation of Israel. It was the very generation which had witnessed the mighty power of God in freeing them from Israel. Yet when they came to the edge of the Promised Land and sent spies in to see what they faced, they grew fearful and decided to walk by sight, not by faith. As a result they spent 40 years, a generation, living in the wilderness. Only two of the spies were willing to walk by faith- Joshua and Caleb. They would be the only two from that generation who would be allowed to enter into the Promised Land.
Let us look at what Joshua faced. For in many ways I see similarities in our generation, we can observe in the generation after Moses. Our parents and grandparents have been deemed the ‘greatest generation’ of the 20th century. We saw their determination in a devastating depression of the 1930’s and we saw their bravery in battle in World War II. Now it is time for our generation and we each need to be strong and courageous- we need to see what God’s plan for us is at this time. For surely we have wandered in the wilderness for too long.
Joshua was a man with a courageous heart. Moses was a great and revered leader. Moses was dead and Joshua was being called upon by the Lord to do what Moses had not been allowed to do- lead the people into the Promised Land. Joshua had known Moses and looked up to him since he was a young man, not much more than a boy.
Let’s see how Joshua stepped up to become one of Israel’s greatest leaders. Where did his strength and courage come from? How did he gain such confidence? I also realized as I began to think about what had occurred in the life of Joshua, it was he and Caleb who were the only ones left from the generation who refused to go in and take the Promised Land. Which means- Joshua and Caleb were the two oldest men in the camp of Israel. We cannot make excuses based on our age as being the reason God is not using us.
Our belief determines our behavior. Joshua believed God was all- powerful. Do you?
Joshua believed God kept His promises. Do you?
Joshua believed God was always with him. Do you? If you said yes to these three questions- you can be strong and courageous also- just like Joshua, regardless of your age! Paul told us in Philippians 4 we are think on things that are true, noble and praiseworthy and we are to keep thinking on those things. We are to replace those thoughts which want to defeat us or lead us in the wrong direction by keeping on thinking on those things which are true- because as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
We need this message. We need to be strong and courageous. Christians today are living in defeat and fear. We do not look and live like victors; we look and live like victims. We are soldiers, each and every one of us. Paul said: “You must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Timothy 2: 3, 4) General Douglas MacArthur said, “In war there is no substitute for victory.”
I don’t know about you, but I have had my fill of wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. I want to enter the Promised Land. Joshua was a witness to the miracles in Egypt described in Exodus. He saw the power and might of God Almighty. Joshua is mentioned in Exodus 17:14 for his military prowess and courage, as we read: “So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with his sword.” God was preparing Joshua to be a general decades before he took command. God was training a leader. Make the most of every opportunity, for you can never tell when God is taking your measure for an important role He wants you to play. Pay attention to those opportunities as well as those natural gifts God has given you.
Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies who came back with a favorable report on the Promised Land, saying we can trust God to provide the victory. Joshua was willing to stand up against the majority. Are we ready to stand up to the majority? Do we have the courage to speak up?
This historical account is also an illustration for how believers today can say good-bye to the carnal life of the wilderness and enter into the rich inheritance in Jesus Christ. It explains how to meet our enemies, defeat them and how to claim for ourselves all that is ours, promised to us by the Lord. If this sounds too good to be true- I want to assure you God is the same today, as He was yesterday as He will be tomorrow.
GEOGRAPHY LESSON
The locations in the Bible are not only geographical, historical and actual locations; they are also illustrations of our spiritual experience. Let us consider: Egypt for here is where this story of Joshua started.
Egypt was a place of death and bondage- a picture of the world. When we were lost, we were enslaved to sin, as surely as the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptian slave masters. How were they finally delivered from their slavery? By the blood of the Lamb and the power of God. Jesus Christ was and is the Lamb of God who took away our sin and delivered us, set us free from bondage and judgment. It was from Kadesh Barnea the spies were sent out and the decision to not enter the land was made. They decided to walk by sight rather than faith. The result was disastrous.
The Wilderness in which Israel wandered for 40 years represents the believer living in carnal suburbs of unbelief and disobedience. Deceived and disobedient and therefore unable to enter into the rest and riches of the Promised Land, just as we cannot enter into the rest and riches of Jesus Christ because of our disbelief. The Jews were delivered from Egypt but failed to enter into the Promised Land. For this reason they spent the next 40 years living in the defeat of carnality. They never enjoyed the fullness of what God had planned for them. They refused to walk by faith and chose to walk by sight. Have you come to a place where you do not believe God is able to deliver you into the Land of His Promises? Are you living your life like a commuter who visits the Promised Land on occasion, but for the most part live in the wilderness- believing you cannot trust the One who took you out of Egypt by the blood of the Lamb and His mighty power to take you into the Promised Land?
Canaan represents the Christian life as it ought to be: the abundant spirit-filled life, but also a life of: conflict and victory, faith and obedience, spiritual riches and rest. Trusting our General, Our Leader of the Armies of Heaven, King Jesus. Crossing over Jordan is not death and Canaan is not heaven. God made a way to cross the Jordan, He parted the waters. Jesus made a way for us to live the abundant, spirit-filled life, it is by faith we live it.
Verse 1: “After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses aide: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all the people get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them- the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. “
God then explained the extent of the land He had promised the Israelites. Then comes a promise of great encouragement to Joshua. “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
If we are to have courage- we need someone or something to encourage us. God will encourage us, as He encouraged Joshua- with His Word, His Promises, His Presence, His Peace and His Power. At this time all Joshua and the nation of Israel had was the Law, the first five books given to Moses by God. Yet this was enough, for the promise of the land was given to the nation of Israel. This geographical location was important. The prophet Ezekiel said Jerusalem was “in the center of nations.” God chose the land of Israel to be the center stage on which He would launch His plan of redemption for the world. Is it not interesting that all the eyes of the world today are on the ancient land mass of Europe, Asia and Africa and the geographical center- Israel in the center. All eyes are on that part of the world and for Christians we look at Israel, for we know this is also where history will end. It was here 2000 years ago, we divided time from then on as before the Lord came and after He came. It is here, time as we know it will end and merge into eternity.
It was in Israel on an obscure mount, the Lord Jesus was crucified by the most powerful world empire, Rome. The Roman Empire is a footnote in history. Augustus Caesar is a name scarcely remembered, and then only because of the incident which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus would be born. The name of Jesus is above all names.
Joshua is given a three-fold mission:
1. Enter into the land.
2. Defeat the enemy.
3. Claim the inheritance.
Do you see this is exactly what our orders are now?
We are to enter into the Promised Land, the Spirit filled life, the Abundant Life. Canaan is not heaven; Canaan is the life God has promised us. It is a life which is a new beginning and a series of new beginnings. It is a series of conflicts as we find new enemies in each season of life as we claim our inheritance.
We must be able to defeat the enemy. We must be trained as soldiers of the cross.
We must claim the inheritance, in spite of the enemy which says it is not ours to claim.
WE must learn how to fight. We will possess our inheritance one step at a time, wherever we set our feet. How much longer must we wait to possess what is ours?
Everything the nation of Israel did either brought glory to God or disgrace to the name of God. Based on their obedience or disobedience they experience the blessings or curses of God. We could say the same of America.
First of all we must realize what was true for Joshua and Israel is true for us.
God has given us His Promises. And to live in and by those is to live the abundant life in the Promised Land. It is to walk by faith in the promises of the One who cannot lie. Now as we study this story, we will see even when we enter the Promised Land there will be battles, just as Joshua and the Israelites faced. But God has promised us no one will be able to stand up against us. God says I will be with you. I will never leave you or forsake you. Paul would later ask the question: If God is for us- who can be against us? Paul also told us we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven. Peter told us by His divine power, God has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him.
The instructions are clear: we must be strong and courageous. This was a prerequisite for God fulfilling his promises. Joshua had to exercise his faith. He had to take the steps of faith. This is where God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility meet. Where did Joshua get the strength and courage to step out by faith? Joshua got it the same place we will get it- from God’s Word and His Promises. It came from meditating on His Word day and night. Got a busy schedule? So did Joshua. He was now responsible for 2,000,000 people who had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. We must be careful to meditate on the Word of God for this is how the Spirit uses the power of the living word to become part of our inner being and change the way we think. When we obey the Word of God we become stronger in our faith.
How does one become strong physically? By exercising our muscles through a series of repetitions which provide resistance to our muscles thus strengthening them. Adversity is to our faith what exercise is to our muscles. Overcoming the resistance to obey God and walk by faith increases our faith. And Paul says faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Let’s look carefully at this story as our guidebook for victory. First the land which was described as flowing with milk and honey is ours for the taking. How much of this abundant land was theirs for the taking? God said He was giving Israel everywhere they set their feet. In other words, you and I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1)
God will never give you more than you are ready to take. If you want more, you must take the step of faith to obtain it for you must set your feet upon it. Paul said he did not consider himself as one who had obtained everything God had provided, but he kept pressing on to higher ground.
We have discovered by now, as Joshua and the Israelites would discover- the Promised Land is a land of abundance but also a land filled with conflict. The enemy does not want you to advance any further. In fact, the enemy of your soul wants you to live in the wilderness. But every conflict can be a victory.
We must learn how to fight the good fight, keeping the faith and pressing on. Have you discovered by now; coming into the land of God’s promise of an abundant life will always result in conflict.
After giving them the promise of the land, God tells them there will be conflict but assures them of His presence. Let’s read this verse from Joshua 1: 5-9 again:
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you.” God has promised us beforehand, those who oppose us will not be able to stand before you all the days of your life. He then tells us why- because He, Almighty God will be with us, just as He was with Moses. Leading us- going before us, our shield, and our rock our very present help in time of trouble. He provides the armor, the weapons which are mighty and divine which will pull down the strongholds of the enemy as He will bring down the walls of Jericho. God says they cannot stand against you.
Next God tells us we must be strong and courageous. “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous.” God is telling us it is going to take courage. The pressure to conform is like nothing we have experienced in our lifetime. We cannot allow ourselves to drift aimlessly along with the crowd. We must set our anchors, His Word, His Promises, His Power and Presence to hold against the strong current coming against the believer in the 21st century. I believe the enemy senses his time is drawing nigh and has thus ramped up his attack.
We are then instructed to meditate on the Word of God day and night. Meditation keeps the word from departing; it becomes a part of your inner being. It is hidden in your heart through meditation, daily intake of Scripture. Your mind is being transformed.
And in verse 9 God reminds us: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We have the presence of the Holy Spirit and an obedient heart will empower the Spirit to provide us with strength and courage to step out by faith and lay claim to all God has given us.
Joshua’s name means: God is salvation. These things were written down for our instruction in the ages to come. (I Cor. 10:11)
This book is a very important book for the church in the 21st century.
Here we will learn how to BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!

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