Daily D – Joshua 1:9
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 1:9 (CSB)
One of my favorite coaching questions is, “What does this make possible?” This question comes in handy in many different scenarios. A man of my acquaintance is dealing with some age-related physical limitations. He is unable to do all the things he once did. He is asking himself this question, “What does this make possible?”
Limitations in one area create additional focus in another.
I attended a writer’s conference years ago. We were given an assignment to write a story of five-hundred words. Then we were instructed to cut that story down to two-hundred words. Then we were instructed to cut it down to one hundred words without compromising the core meaning of the story. As it turned out, the hundred-word stories were often much more potent than their more bloated predecessors.
Take a look at Joshua 1:1, 2. The narrative begins this way: “After the death of Moses the LORD’s servant . . . .” Verse 2 begins with God speaking to Joshua, “Moses my servant is dead.” This was a limitation. God used Moses to destroy Egypt and to lead his people through the Red Sea and through the wilderness. God used him to turn a multitude of slaves into a nation.
For forty years, Moses was the only leader the people knew. Now Joshua, Moses’s assistant (verse 1), was to take the lead. He had been commissioned, strengthened, and encouraged by Moses (Numbers 27:18-23 and Deuteronomy 3:28).
As faithful as Joshua had been, as capable as he was, he was no Moses. Turn one page back to Deuteronomy 34:10-12 and see that nobody was like Moses. He met with the LORD face to face (verse 10). He was unparalleled for all the signs and wonders he did (verse 11). He was without peer in the mighty acts of power and terrifying deeds he did in the sight of all Israel (verse 12). Good luck following that act, Josh!
Who could live up to that?
Maybe that’s why God made it clear twice in the first two verses of Joshua 1 that Moses was dead. Moses was dead and gone and not coming back. He would not be looking over Joshua’s shoulder. He would not be questioning Joshua’s leadership decisions. The people could not even visit his grave and turn it into a shrine or memorial. God buried Moses and didn’t tell anyone where to find the plot (Deuteronomy 34:6).
The new plot, the new storyline, was this: “I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you.” Moses was great because of God. All of those mighty acts were God’s doing. Moses was the instrument in God’s hands. God was the true performer.
“I will be with you, just as I was with Moses.” What does this make possible? Maybe a better question is, “What is impossible?” With God, all things are possible.
God tells Joshua repeatedly in the first nine verses of this book, “Be strong and courageous.” He even bottom-lines it with verse 9:
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
God’s message to Joshua is God’s message to you and me.
1. Be strong in God’s strength.
2. Be courageous in the face of all adversity.
3. Do not allow fear to make you shrink back from God’s purpose for your life.
4. Do not become discouraged when the going gets tough.
5. God is with you wherever you go.
This is God’s consistent and enduring message through the rest of the Bible. Just as he was with Moses, the Patriarchs before him, and with everyone else all the way back to Adam and Eve, he will be with you forever. What does that make possible?
It makes everything possible that God asks, requires, or leads us to do.
What’s stopping you?
I will live with God’s strength and courage in everything he asks me to do or become.
Our Father, your presence and your power make all things possible. Whatever you ask, wherever you lead, whatever you want is more than possible. With you all things are possible. What do you want today? Thank you that no matter what you ask or where you lead, you will go before me to prepare the way. You will go with me to empower me. You will accomplish your purpose through me in spite of my limitations. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.