Summary: Our courage is found in God alone. Our victory is grounded in God's Word.
We are at the edge of another new year; another year of uncertainties and unknowns - to us, of course, but not to God.
• Whatever they are, we are going to face them and walk through them, by the grace of God.
• We won’t be doing it alone, because God will walk us through. The future is uncertain, but God has the future in His hands.
The nation of Israel finds herself in a similar situation in JOSHUA 1.
• They are now standing between the desert and the Promised Land, at the edge of a new beginning.
• They are about to leave their old life of wandering in the wilderness, and step into a new life in a new land, and with a new leader.
• They are not going to hear the familiar voice of Moses, but Joshua.
Everything is changing, and will change. I don’t quite like that feeling. I don’t think many people do, when we face a daunting future.
• Joshua, the new leader of Israel, found himself in such a situation.
• And God came and spoke to Him. This is beautiful. Let’s read it in JOSHUA 1:1-9.
• In this short talk we find the keys to facing the future with confidence.
[Read Joshua 1:1-9]
Moses had just died and Joshua had been picked to take his place. Israel had never known another leader, until now.
• You can imagine how Joshua must have felt.
• No wonder God needs to come and assure him. He really needs it. So do many of us in similar situations.
• God tells him to be BOLD AND COURAGEOUS a few times.
He was scared. How do we know? 1:9 gives us a hint. The Lord says, “Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged.”
• God will not say something that is not there or unnecessary.
• Joshua is afraid. He is overwhelmed by the daunting task of “filling Moses’ shoes” and leading the nation into Canaan.
• It is not going to be a simple WALK IN. They have to fight against SEVEN nations already living in Canaan, and all of them larger and stronger than Israel.
• This isn’t an imaginary fear. The spies testified to that. It is real.
I can identify with Joshua, especially when you are called to take the helm right after the passing of the founder, so to speak.
• It will be so much easier if I am called to lead the 5th one in line or the 6th, or when I am very much older.
Precisely at this point, God showed up. It is always at this point that God shows up. What point? The point of our greatest need.
• God came and gave Joshua a pep talk, like all good coaches do when the players are intimidated and overwhelmed.
• When you are in dire state, take note and listen hard. God speaks. Pay attention. Don’t wallow in your pain. Don’t dwell on your problems. LISTEN HARD.
The talk reveals TWO ANCHORS that Joshua must hold on to, the only two things that are CERTAIN in the midst of all the uncertainties – God and His Word.
• Remember I told you before that there are 3 things that are eternal? God, His Word and our SOUL.
• Soul does not apply here; so if we are to cling on to that which are eternal, unchanging and certain, then they are GOD and HIS WORD.
(1) OUR COURAGE IS FOUND IN GOD ALONE
(2) OUR VICTORY IS GROUNDED IN GOD’S WORD
(1) OUR COURAGE IS FOUND IN GOD ALONE
God chatted him up with a talk about Himself actually. From verses 1-6 the word “I” appeared many times:
• I am about to give you every place you set foot; I promised Moses; I was with Moses; I will be with you; I will never leave you.
• It’s all about God, what He has promised and planned to do.
• God made no reference to the difficult task ahead, nothing about the strong enemies, or the huge cities.
• Obstacles are not problems to God. He can part the Red Sea, feed millions in the desert, get a nation across Jordan River, and bring down walls of Jericho.
Joshua’s confidence has to be anchored in God alone, not in anything else.
• Not in himself, not in the people, not in their resources, and not in the circumstances. Our courage is found in God, and in God alone.
• Even before Joshua starts to do anything, he must believe, deep down in his heart, that God is present and He rules.
Someone puts it this way: Courage is not the absent of fear but the absent of self.
• Fear is natural. It is a feeling that comes when you are facing a danger, a threat, and a difficult task. We cannot eradicate fear, we can only OVERCOME fear.