Joshua – Be Strong, Be Courageous!

She Reads Truth is doing something new for Lent – every Friday the reader’s share their own thoughts on a certain passage of scripture. This is my response for the week. 

This week, we are reflecting on Joshua 1:8-9.

Let me start by saying, all of this must have been very providentially, as if God really wanted to teach me something. The same morning I read that the passage this week for #shesharestruth, I also started listening to a podcast series from Oak Hills Church (home of our boy, Max Lucado!) The series is called “Glory Days” and it is all about Joshua, how fitting. Here’s a list of the series so you can go watch for yourself:

So, those are all the sermons so far, and they cover more than just verses 8 and 9 from chapter 1. But Lucado talks a lot about who Joshua is and where he is coming from, what he is coming from, and where he is being called to in the future. I think knowing the context of a verse is important, no matter what passage you’re looking at.

Using my study Bible, I also gathered information about Joshua (the book AND the person) that I found informative:

  • Joshua was chosen as Moses’ successor,
  • The book outlines Joshua’s leadership of the Israelites,
  • Joshua was a military leader and a strong spiritual influence,
  • He was submissive to God, and was obedient to his call,
  • The book displays Joshua’s obedience.
  • (and Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho, Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down)

Verses 1-9 of the first chapter of the Joshua are the Lord’s Charge to Joshua. Joshua should’ve been mourning the loss of a great leader, Moses, but instead God asks him to RISE UP and lead the people of Israel.

Joshua obeys.

God calls Joshua to be strong and courageous and to lead the people and Joshua accepts. Then, the important part for us this week, God says,

Study This Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

God taught Joshua how to be obedient, strong, and courageous, and successfully carry out His plan:

  1. Be strong, be courageous – it’s not going to be easy.
  2. Obey the law God has given.
  3. Constantly read the word God has given, think about, dwell on it, claim it, etc.

We too need to do those things, with whatever it is God is calling us to do.

We move forward without fear, for if God is for us, who can be against us?

We obey His commands (especially in what He is currently calling us to do, that which is requiring we have faith and courage).

We read His written word to us, we dwell on it, and we let it direct us as we are strong and courageous in obedience.

 madewithOver

Are you ready? What is God calling you to do – big, small, easy, difficult?

 

image is from my brother! Follow him @an_idiot_abroad on Instagram!

Matter of the heart? (sin series)

I have been writing and thinking about sin for the past week…

I addressed some black and white sins listed in the Bible and I reminded you (and myself) that God loved me before I could do anything to win or lose His affections – it’s not about my works.

Today I want to address your heart. My heart.

When I started thinking about my reoccurring battle with particular sins awhile back, I always equated my level of struggle with a particular sin with how much I loved God. For example, I’d think things like, “wow, I did that 4 times this week, I must not really love God. Who am I kidding.” Or even things like, “You can’t stop doing that, it’s who you are, so really you don’t love God, you love that sin.” I was so discouraged by my thoughts – by the enemies lies – about the state of my heart. I felt like I was pursuing God with all that I am at times, yet I still continued to struggle with particular sins. I still struggle with the same sins but I also feel like I’m pursuing God more than ever in my life previously. 

That’s when God started speaking to me, the other night at church. He whispered quietly to my tired heart,

“I know you so well – I created you. I know where you are tempted and how you have failed. I see it each time. And I love you just as much in that moment as the moments you are shouting My praises. There is nothing you can do to make Me love you more. You are my beloved.”

That is something I told myself so many times before – that God loves me no matter what I do, yada, yada. But to feel Him whisper that to me in my hurt, in my disappointment, in my shame. Oh my heart was broken with gratitude for the mercy and grace of my Savior and God.

madewithOver

I think most of us can quote the verse about being saved through faith and not works (Ephesians 2:8-10). But do we understand how just as we cannot earn our salvation, we cannot earn the love of God?

Think about it for just a minute. Wherever you are.

God loves you:

despite your jealousy of your neighbor…

despite the lie you told to your spouse…

despite the number of drinks you had…

despite the images you viewed online…

despite the debt you’re in…

despite the hatred you have toward your coworker…

despite your filth…

despite your selfishness..

despite your bad attitude…

despite the words you said in anger…

despite the last time you went to church…

despite the last time you talked to Him.

HE. LOVES. YOU… JUST AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW.

It blows my mind. For more about sin, grace, mercy, and God’s love for you, see below!

You are loved, friends. Walk peacefully in that truth today.

For more:

photo credit to my brother, Daniel. Follow him on instagram @ an_idiot_abroad