Today we start a new devotional series from the book of Joshua. New posts will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:6-9
Moses, the servant of the Lord who had led God’s people from the land of Egypt and through the wilderness for 40 years, was dead. He had spoken to God as a friend, seen as much of God’s glory as any person could see on this earth, and faithfully delivered God’s commands to the people. But, because of an act of disobedience on fully display in front of the people, Moses had to stop just shy of the Promised Land and only was able to greet it from afar.
Joshua, who had followed along faithfully with Moses as an assistant, was God’s chosen leader to take the people into the Land. Though we don’t know everything about Joshua’s mindset, we can tell from the words that God spoke to him that perhaps Joshua faced some trepidation.
Moses’ were big shoes to fill, the people were many to lead, and the Promised Land was filled with mighty opponents.
So, what does od do? He spoke of courage to Joshua. He told Joshua to be strong and courageous, and he based this on his choosing Joshua to fill this position, the promises and teachings of his word, and his own presence with Joshua.
It is the same for us. In general, all followers of Jesus have the same call on our lives. We are to live in this world to make disciples of others as we make much of Jesus in our lives. This will play out in many ways and many arenas as we seek to love God and love others where we live, work, and play. Our role in this will look different as teachers, pastors, bankers, factory workers, and students.
But we should not back down from our task, because Jesus promised us much the same. All authority is his and he will be with us (Matthew 28:18-20).
Like Joshua, we need to be confident of our call by God, we need to look to the promises and teachings of his word (scripture, the Bible), and we need to be assured of his presence. So, let us obey God’s call on our lives to make disciples and honor him, no matter our occupation or season of life. And let us be strong and courageous, working for Jesus.