Be Strong and Courageous in Obedience
“Above all, be strong and very courageous to observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9
Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt through the wilderness and to the edge of the Promised Land, had passed away. His role of leadership was now entrusted to Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land to conquer and take it as their inheritance.
This was a daunting task for Joshua. He was to conquer the kings of the lands ahead and lead the stiff-necked people of Israel, who had nearly stoned Moses on at least one occasion for his obedience to God (Numbers 14:1-10). These people often turned from their love and obedience for God to idols and their own desires. They were not an easy people to lead.
When Joshua took this role of leadership, God called him to courage. Not just courage to fearlessly fight the battles ahead or courage to lead the stubborn Israelites, but He called Joshua to courageous obedience. Why? Because obedience isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can feel terrifying. Don’t we know that oh so well.
Today, we are called to the same courageous obedience as Joshua. We know obedience doesn’t always come with earthly success and pleasure...but it does come with spiritual reward of growth and joy. And we know that although our obedience may lead to pain on this earth, we have the same promise Joshua was given: for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Our side of that promise is even greater than his—for we have the Holy Spirit residing in us forever.
Dear God, thank You for Your constant presence in my life. I know I will never be abandoned by You. Thank You for the Holy Spirit living inside of me, giving me strength to love and obey You. Please give me courage to do what You have called me to. Help me to not give way to discouragement and fear, but to obey You boldly.
What command of God’s have you balked at because you are fearful of what may happen if you obey? Which of God’s commands have struck fear in your heart? Pray for God to give you courage to obey him in those ways. Don’t allow the fears of obedience to discourage you into stagnation or sin. Instead, courageously submit to God’s commands knowing He will not abandon you, but He will provide the strength to obey and the growth and joy that follow.