"Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9)
It has been a long day. We had a tornado pass through the area last night. I have been running a chain saw all day. My muscles ache. But electrical power has been restored! I have my Bible, a PC, and a hot shower!
No one has been hurt, but sadly, some of my friends have damage to their homes. Many are still without electricity.
Since I had no way of writing A. M. NOTES, this A. M., here is a P. M. NOTE.
Joshua has become the leader of God's people. Moses has been called away by God.
Joshua has been given a big job to do! He has to fill some very big 'sandals'.
Joshua will do well, though, if he will do two things:
1) "...Be strong,..."
2) "and of a good courage;..."
Let's look at strength. Joshua is nothing more than a tool in God's hands. He is a tool with a will, though. People are a special kind of tool. They have a will to be a good tool, or a poor tool. God commands Joshua, "Be" a strong tool. In other words, "Joshua, I expect you to do your best, and to be "tempered" for the task.
You know as well as I, that some people have made up their minds, that they will do the bare minimum, just enough, to get by. By doing so, they have endeavored to be weak in whatever they do.
Strength is vitally important to a believer's resolve to be faithful to God!
And, it takes "courage"! Courage is a hard word to define. John Wayne said, "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." (Chisum)
It takes lots of courage to be faithful to God. There have been many occasions when I was afraid, but I just did what God asked me to do, anyway.
Several years ago, I was invited to go to the state capital in Jackson, MS, to lead the opening prayer for the convening of the state congress. I was so intimidated by all of those powerful people, that I was physically ill. But, God reminded me that He was God, and I was His servant. I needed to be courageous, and let Him do His work through me.
God encouraged Joshua, "...be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." That is a winning combination!
Dear friends, there is much in this life that can make us afraid! Just following God can be terrifying, for we are often asked "to walk by faith, alone".
Just remember, "Be strong". Do the best you can, and resolve to be the best tool in God's shop.
And "be courageous". Be faithful even if you are afraid, or even when you feel inadequate.
And, never forget, that God is with us!
From my heart to your heart.