Last week, we remembered that God told Joshua to have courage when He said:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9 ESV)
God told Joshua not be be frightened or dismayed because God would be with him wherever he goes. In other words, God will be the source of Joshua’s courage and strength. Jesus promised us the same thing when he was about ready to ascend into heaven:
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
God will give us courage and strength, too. As we read the story of Joshua, then, we can learn from the way God gave courage and strength to Joshua because God is our source of courage and strength, too.
Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. At the end of three days the officers went through the camp and commanded the people, "As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it...for you have not passed this way before." (Joshua 3:1-4 ESV)
Joshua was given courage by God because he was travelling into territory they had not gone before. God can give us courage to go places we have never gone before as well. We can move to someplace new. We can start a new job or a new position. We can travel on vacations or other adventures. We can even start up new relationships with people we have never met before. When we do these, God can provide us courage to move into this unknown territory. But we will only have the courage and wisdom to successfully navigate these new waters when we get our courage from God. So, we must start by preparing to encounter God.
Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5 ESV)
How about you? Do you turn to God for your courage? Do you consecrate yourself (prepare yourself by setting everything else aside) to encounter God?