I love reading the Old Testament and find myself referring back to it when I do my studies. There is so much meat in there for us to glean from, how to conduct and view our lives. Joshua, like Moses, is another favorite of mine. Right now I am taking my youth group through the lessons we can learn from reading Joshua. There have been days where we have verse by verse of the challenges and victories that the Israelites went through.
Before they stepped into the Promised Land they had to prepare themselves. Joshua was their appointed leader at the time. He was trained none other than Moses himself. Joshua would accompany Moses as he went up to the mountain top to be in the presence of God. Joshua saw the importance of that relationship and took it a step further. He knew the heart of his people and knew the challenge they would face.
Joshua 1:8-9 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read (and meditate on) it day and night, so that you may be careful to do (everything) in accordance with all that is written in it; for they you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (AMP)
This great people had a real challenge ahead of them, but they had a promise that God would be with them wherever they go. They just had to GO! However, before they went they had to consecrate and sanctify themselves. This is what we like to call today, “a heart check.” Before we just step out and do, even though He has promised us the victory, we must keep our heart aligned with His.
Each victory was going to be won in a different way. Some lessons they had to learn over and over again, just like us today. Forgiveness is one such lesson. What lessons have you had to grow in? For me it has been to keep my eyes on Him and not His people. People can let us down. People can discourage us, especially when you love them deeply. It hurts when they turn theirs backs on you.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms.” (TPT) I am not saying that when people turn their backs on you or disappoint you that they are operating in rebellion. We can be the ones operating in just that by the way we let that hurt affect us.
Let’s get back to the message of Joshua. Joshua in chapter ten has just led a victory against an alliance of many kingdoms. In fact they have just conquered half of the promised land. This land was enough to sustain the group of Israelites. In that view, they could have halted their conquests. Right here in verse 25 Joshua proclaims, “Do not fear or be dismayed (intimidated)! Be strong and courageous, for this is what the Lord will do to all your enemies whom you (are about to) fight.” (AMP)
Why after a great victory is Joshua proclaiming to his people to “Be Strong and Courageous?” He knows the nature of people. We define victory in that we have achieved comfort. We tell God that we just need to rest and then we will get back to it. Really what we are telling God is that we want to live for us. So what “intimidates” us…ourselves.
Our enemy is not against flesh and blood, but principalities in the spirit realm. The goal for the enemy that you are fighting is to get you not to finish, to put your life on pause, in the form of “rest.” Do not stop half way accomplished. Be strong and courageous, He is with us wherever we go.
The goal for the enemy that you are fighting is to get you not to finish, to put your life on pause, in the form of “rest.”
Isaiah 40:28-31 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young man shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
My dear friend do not give up. Do not fall into the trap of rest as this world defines. His rest comes when we accomplish what He has set us out to do, and He even said He would be there wherever we go. Never give up. Get your life off pause. Be strong and courageous!