Sunday, August 25, 2019

If Commanded

If Commanded
August 26, 2019
Joshua 1:9  "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

When Moses died, the Lord spoke to Joshua very clearly. It was made known before Moses died that Joshua would be leading the nation of Israel through to the Promised Land. The day came and it was time for Joshua to lead. The Lord encouraged him. He told him to be strong and full of courage. Why would the Lord encourage Joshua of those things? While Joshua was a strong and fearless leader, he certainly was tempted to shrink back, otherwise the Lord would not have had to encourage him. If Joshua was a robot, He would have programmed him to follow orders without fail. But Joshua was human and likely a huge target for a mental or emotional attack from the enemy. The Lord was the one could encouraged Joshua.

As the Lord was encouraging Joshua, He reminded him would was sending him. He reminded Joshua that the Lord, the God of Heaven, was the one sending him on the noble mission to lead the people through the promised land. The Lord reminded him because He wanted to emphasize the might and direction from the Lord if the Lord was requiring the task. The Lord told Joshua that He was going with him on the journey. The Lord promised He was leading and guiding every step of the way, that he should fear no man and no circumstance. If the Lord is the director, why would anyone question the safety or validity of the mission? Joshua had to rely on that as the days and weeks and months progressed. 

The Lord used a rhetorical question with Joshua; He said, "Have I not commanded you?" It was meant to remind Joshua that the Lord was the one requiring the mission, not a mission made up on Joshua's own terms. It was meant to remind Joshua who the real leader was and instill confidence in following the mandate from the Lord. Joshua had a mandate to lead, and do so with strength and courage because the Lord was in charge. You and I have mandates from the Lord but when the going gets tough we start to move forward in weakness and fear, which eventually leads to quitting. The Lord never intended us to live in weakness or fear, but always with strength and courage. We lack strength and courage sometimes because maybe the task we are in is not from the Lord or maybe we need reassured who was really in charge of the mission in the first place. Th Lord had to ask Joshua who had commanded the mission. Once Joshua could answer that with confidence, then he was able to lead with strength and courage.

How do you answer the question on a daily basis; who has commanded the task and path you are on today? If the Lord has planned the task and path that you are on, then move forward in strength and courage. If you made it up, making your own decisions in life and the path you are following, it makes sense to live in weakness and fear. If commanded, strength and courage are easy, and essential for succeeding. If you are not succeeding, maybe you were not commanded, OR maybe you need reminded to move forward in strength and courage because the Lord is with you.  

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Joshua 1:1-9

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