“Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. I command you – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9
Have you ever sensed that God was speaking directly to you? Maybe you read something in your Bible that almost jumped off the page at you, or you listened to a sermon and you thought the pastor simply must have known what’s going on in your life because it’s exactly what you needed.
Yesterday was a day in my life simply full of big and little reminders that God cares even about the smallest details in our lives. My husband was traveling for work, and I prayed for the strength and courage to be a good parent to my kids and also have peace throughout my own day. It was amazing as I saw multiple answers to that prayer! One minor example was that all my kids ate dinner really well last night without fighting and my son oldest even thanked me for cooking it, saying “this is the best meal you ever made!” I can assure you that it wasn’t, but our evening was so full of peace and grace that I almost felt like God was there with us.
Another example was that I had been debating about doing my double digit run tomorrow because the windchill is supposed to be -7! But then I read a friend’s post on Facebook from Luke 8:25 where Jesus rebuked the storm and His disciples asked one another in fear and amazement, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.” I was reminded again that nothing (especially wind!) is too difficult for God.
This morning in my reading, I came to the above verses in Joshua to be “strong and courageous.” I underlined them and made a mental note to come back and share them with others. Then after dropping my older two off at school I went to my Moms in Prayer meeting to pray for our elementary school. The theme of the day was “God is our Strength” and the three verses were: 1) 2 Samuel 22:33 “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my ways secure”; 2) Nehemiah 8:10 which ends with “the joy of the Lord is your strength” and 3) Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” The definition of God is our strength was “One who has firmness of will, character, mind or purpose; power to resist force” (giving credit where it’s due: this is from the prayer sheet of Moms in Prayer International).
I was again overwhelmed at the God of the Universe speaking to me about His strength. One of the moms said she had just been reminded that we as Christians should take the word “impossible” out of our vocabulary. Because truly, NOTHING is impossible with God. God IS our strength! He is our help! He empowers us to have a firm will and character and to resist forces.
So, how can we apply this in our lives? Going back to those verses from Joshua that I started with, we need to be meditating on the Bible day and night. Only by knowing what’s in it can we obey. Sometimes we think we know what we’re to do, and it’s not actually written anywhere in the Bible but just an old teaching. Rather than following rules and regulations or traditions that have been created over the years, let’s meditate on what God actually has to say! And this is what we’re told is necessary to succeed (Joshua 1:8)! I love that we’re not to be afraid or discouraged but rather strong and courageous. The Lord our God is with us wherever we go (thank You, Jesus!). He fights for us when we surrender to His will and obey His commands.
I felt very strongly like this was something I needed to share. Could you use a double portion of strength to get through your day? If so, be courageous! God is your strength. And He is all powerful! Nothing is too difficult for Him! Allow His joy to strengthen you. Stand firm. Remember it isn’t over until it’s over.
Dear Father God, thank You for being with us. Lord, we don’t deserve Your grace or Your compassion. Like the Israelites, we have been sinful and rebellious and unfaithful. Please forgive our sins and draw us to You again! We confess that we need Your strength to survive some days (okay, every day!). When we’re feeling discouraged, please remind us again to be strong and courageous because YOU are our strength. Thank You that there is nothing too difficult for You. You will grant us success when we obey Your words. Draw us near to You – may we meditate on Your Book all day long. May we know the words but also know Your heart. Lord, may we know You in all Your glory. May we live our lives for You. Please teach us as a loving parent. We submit to Your authority and to Your truth. Thank You, God, for being so faithful and so…YOU! We love You and praise You. Be honored today in our lives – in our speech, our actions, our choices and all that we are. In Jesus’ Name we pray, AMEN!