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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Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. (CSB)
Isaiah 38:2, 3 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD. He said, “Please, LORD, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. (CSB)
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy. (CSB)