Prepare for a Mighty Work of God
Prepare for a Mighty Work of God
“This is my commandment – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I have enjoyed reading through the Bible this year with our church, and I especially enjoyed the book of Joshua! Chapter one of Joshua has been a favorite passage of mine for a long time. I heard a pastor once say that the reason Joshua was told to “be strong and courageous” four times in this chapter (three times by the Lord and reiterated one time by the Israelites) was because Joshua was, well…afraid!
Have we ever thought of Joshua as lacking courage? I mean this guy took over the leadership role that Moses had previously held…MOSES, of all people!!
Joshua, however, WAS human, therefore he must certainly have been afraid to enter this land where the cities were fortified and the people were stronger and more numerous than his people.
But, wasn’t this the land that God had promised to them?
Because Joshua believed that God keeps His promises, he had the faith to activate the courage he needed to move forward as God commanded, even in the face of his fears. He had no idea how the Lord was going to enable the Israelites to overtake the people they would encounter so that they could inhabit this “land flowing with milk and honey” that God had promised, but he had the faith that God WOULD keep his promise.
The key phrase here is that God had promised.
God’s Word is full of promises, and it teaches us that the Lord is the perfect promise-keeper. If we believe the Lord keeps His promises, are we willing to move in courageous faith, despite our fears, through the problems that we encounter in this life? Do we believe that the Lord our God is with us wherever we go as Joshua was told?
I recently listened to the pastor of a friend’s church preach on Joshua. Bishop Willie L. Jones, II, who is pastor of Refiners Fire Community Church in Durham, said that it is times like these that the Lord gets to show us who He is!
Bishop Jones explained that, in chapter three, Joshua doesn’t tell the Israelites to sharpen their swords and get their shields ready, he instructs them to consecrate themselves because they are about to see a mighty work of God, and they need to be spiritually ready before they are physically ready. We should expect the hand of God to move, encouraged Bishop Jones, because we have God, the living God, WITH us!
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Bishop Jones described the Israelites’ passage through the Jordan River as one of entrance into spiritual warfare to claim what God had promised them. He said this scene is a picture of one’s problems being divided in half and then walking right through, untouched, because God made a way.
I pray we will be able to see God is with us, and He is ultimately victorious no matter what we face, whether it is the uncertainty of COVID-19, the troubling racial injustice and inequality in our country, a startling medical diagnosis, an unexpected job lay-off, or any other trial that we may face in this life. Can we accept that God just asks us to consecrate ourselves in preparation for the victory…HIS victory?
I encourage all of us to be strong and courageous and prepare ourselves for a mighty work of God. Let’s put on the full armor of God and believe that the Lord will keep His promises to bring about HIS kingdom on this earth, as it is in heaven.