Scripture Devotional: Joshua 1:16
I love reading about the Israelites . It’s a story that reminds me of myself. The Israelites start out as slaves, freed in Exodus, then wandering around in the desert they struggle to trust and obey God – like me. But God’s love and faithfulness remains unwavering for the Israelites.
It’s that unwavering love and faithfulness that floods my heart with hope. His unwavering love and faithfulness is what I firmly when the enemy reminds me I fall short.
The love and faithfulness is also the very thing that drives me to aim for His best.
In light of all this, verse 16 stood out to me …
“Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.” ~Joshua 1:16
In verse 16, Joshua is about to lead the Israelites to the promised land and they respond with a promise of obedience. Not only were their intentions to obey, but can’t you hear the passion in their voice? I almost got the impression they would never fall short in light of those strong declarations. But they do. I do too.
Like the Israelites, I make strong declarations. I endeavor to “do whatever you command, Lord”. Yet, sometimes I don’t.
Am I willing to do whatever he commands and go wherever he sends me? At first glance my answer is yes. But when I think a little harder on whatever He commands, my ambition starts to wear down and my mind is flooded with “what if’s”.
Sometimes, I get scared. I’m afraid to do what I know God wants because the enemy starts whispering “what if” to me. What if you love deeply and sincerely and they don’t love you back? What if you forgive and get hurt again? What if you share the truth and your rejected?
Consequently, God already knew the challenge fear presents. In the same chapter, He says four times (verse 6, 7, 9, 18), “Be strong and courageous!”.
But it’s hard to be strong and courageous. I don’t think I can, Lord.
His response? I will be with you (verse 9).
Even in the failures, His love and faithfulness is unwavering.
I pray I would have the obedient heart of the Israelites in chapter 1 of Joshua. Then, I get ready to be strong and courageous because God himself will be with me (and you) where ever we go.