Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
- Joshua 1:9
Who hasn't felt afraid or discouraged?
That's why I believe this month's verse, Joshua 1:9, is for all of us. And right now, God is meeting me where it counts with the encouragement that this verse brings. Let me explain.
About two years ago, God gave me a clear vision to do something for the Kingdom. I just knew He was calling me to this thing. As a matter of fact, my insides seemed to swirl at just the thought of it. Looking around, I could see that the need is real, and yet no one else seemed to be jumping into that space in quite the same way I felt God was calling me to. People I knew were asking for something like this. And so, I prayed. I prayed that God would make a way for me to get it done.
God was calling me to write a book. I've spent 20 years working with leaders in the marketplace, helping them to hone their craft. Those leaders have taught me more than a few things. And, so have the various groups of disciples that God has graciously allowed me to adventure alongside for the past decade. I felt like all of those wisdom and insights that had been entrusted to me needed to be poured back out for the sake of others.
God answered my book writing prayer by making a space for it to get done. Specifically, I had prayed that God would give me another job opportunity, so that between jobs I could have two weeks of wiggle room to kickstart the writing process. And, when it happened, I jumped in with both feet.
Fast forward to today. The book is done, and now I have to figure out what to do next. This is the scary part. You see, I felt in the beginning that God had told me to write the book, and that He would take care of the rest. But, here I am. Even though the book is finished, the next steps of editing, designing, publishing and establishing a platform of potential readers all hover on the horizon. Does that sound wildly intimidating to anyone else but me? I'm starting to wonder whether God's plan to “take care of the rest” is by calling me bravely and boldly into these new, intimidating things.
Enter Joshua and our verse.
Joshua was just a normal guy. Born a slave in Egypt, he was called into leadership by an older man, Moses, who knew God and saw Kingdom potential in him. Joshua followed Moses. He helped Moses and learned from him, and when the time came, God called Joshua to step up into the footsteps of his discipler. Joshua's next steps would be to lead God's people into the land He had promised to give to Abraham's descendants hundreds of years earlier, kick the current residents out, and set up the people for spiritual health, freedom and the abundant life. Talk about intimidating! No pressure there, right? It was only God's reputation and faithfulness on the line. So here Joshua was, clearly troubled by what lay ahead. But, then God speaks.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
Joshua had a significant task ahead of him. He had to fight hard to secure the land for the people. He had to be strategic in order to organize the community for spiritual and social success once they were there. And, Joshua was afraid and discouraged, which is why God said what He said. Doing what God had called him to do wasn't going to be easy, but what Joshua needed to know was that God had indeed appointed him to do it, and that He would be with him every step of the way.
- What scary or new thing is God calling you into today?
- Are you feeling afraid or discouraged?
God's word for you is this: Take courage. Press on. Be bold in what He has called you to do. Do the thing! Just like Joshua, God will be with you every step of the way.
Tracy Sullivan is this month's highlighted dwell member. She's a lover of Jesus and a leader of others. For more of her story, follower her at: @tracysullivandiscipleship.