about a 6 minute read
In this post, I want to explore the term ‘bold’ through confessing to God that you are open and obedient to His leadership. In this series, we will be using the scriptures Joshua 1:6-9 and seeing how this Old Testament word can be applied to our daily lives.
I’ve been familiar with this title of this post as a response to when God calls His people and they accept out of faith in Him. As I was staring at this phrase ‘here I am’ I re-imagined it with the comma like this ‘here, I am’ changing the stress to being on ‘I am’ [Yahweh] the One who is, One of authority. Holy Spirit helped me to uncover the level of intimacy God shares with His children who are trying to do their daily life knowing they have a giant target on their life.
When I continued to stare and imagine more about this title, ‘here,’ stresses that He is present in the current situation and so whatever I need in that moment or season, God is. I also felt a wave of closeness that this short phrase eludes knowing that He will ‘personally go ahead of [us]…He will be with [us]; [H]e will neither fail [us] nor abandon [us]. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
1. He is with you when you Stand
Joshua, the main character of this series, had experienced the Promised Land prior the majority of his generation as he was one of the twelve spies appointed by the Lord through Moses to check out the land and send report to the people. He was one of the two men (the other was Caleb) who delivered a report that ‘they can certainly conquer it’ (Numbers 13:30 NLT) aware that the land was already given to them by the Lord. They, Joshua and Caleb, understood who they stood with. The majority however, compared themselves to the opposition as inferior (like grasshoppers, Numbers 13:33) and planted fear into the people.
These men boldly stood before an entire generation and denounced the accusations of their physical weakness because they knew that in their vulnerability they were provided for and protected by their Elohim, their God, who had already gave them victory. They sounded crazy in the spotlight of pressure and fear from the majority yet still they stood firm.
Personally, I haven’t been trying to conquer physical land but I was trying to step into the space (idea/freedom/goal/dream) that God had given me – like writing consistently on this blog – yet there were things bigger than myself occupying that area – fear of doing something that wasn’t “conventional,” social pressures that wanted answers to what I am doing and me not being able to give a “well presented” answer other than ‘it’s mine because of Who had assigned it to me.’ For me, writing posts on my blog has been a big struggle as I have had many suggestions (really, lies) namely from the enemy that I am not qualified to write what I write. But the Lord reminds me that He is with me and he assigned the land to me. I have the right qualifications as long as I draw from His strength and keep my eyes fixed on the kingdom of God above everything else, He will provide everything I need. (Matthew 6:33 paraphrased)
For a while, I had sat down in the valley of these lies that rung loud in my ear to the point I started to say these untrue things and speaking them into my existence. To correct them, I had to go and find out the root of why I even believed them in the first place and then I began writing them down and covering them with scripture to the point I cannot even read the lies again. I started speaking and sounding crazy to those around me especially calling out things I want to see but I physically have no means in getting them in my own strength. ‘As soon as I started [speaking], [the Lord] answer[ed] me, [He] encouraged me by giving me strength’ (Psalm 138:3), strength even to stand firm when the pressures of details – the hows, the lack ofs, the whos, the whens – are yelling at me full volume.
My question to you, what suggestions (lies) are you hearing that contradict what God has given you? Grab some paper and jot them down. What scriptures can you use to rewrite those lies with the confidence of who you are in Christ?
2. He is with you in your In-Between Stages
Joshua, we learn in his self titled book, leads a new generation into the Promised Land. Their parents all died in the wilderness which was the thing they were asking for and got due to their lack of trust in God (see Numbers 14).
Joshua as leader, didn’t mean he had it all together but he recognised that he needed to do everything with the Lord; he had to be strong and courageous which came from his relationship with the Lord alone. When the transition was taking place – where Joshua, the assistant became leader – towards Moses’ last days, Joshua was reminded to ‘be strong and courageous, for [he is] the one who will lead these people to possess all the land [The Lord] swore to their ancestors [He] would give them.’ (Deuteronomy 31:7-8 & echoed again in Joshua 1:6)
In the period of transition, it’s pretty easy to create an idea of what the new space will look like and set our imaginations on assumptions. Joshua would have seen the reality of leading a generation first hand as well as seeing the physical Promised land and could’ve reenacted what he was familiar seeing Moses do. This command from God calls Joshua into new action for this new territory.
In my life, I am in a position of newness or change that I’ve never experienced before yet this new level becomes more and more clearer as long as I stay rooted in the Word. I do not necessarily have all the answers and so when my imagination flutters off into the ‘what-ifs’ I have to literally keep reminding myself to ‘fix [my] thoughts on what is true’, (Phil 4:8) what was the last thing God told me?
This command, being strong and courageous, doesn’t dismiss the natural feelings of pressure, overwhelm, anxiety, stress or fear. God simply calls Joshua to be an example of boldness trusting in the Word God spoke. “To be” strong and courageous steps outside the frame of what one has and draws a connection to who they are; meaning if you are connected or in relationship with the One who gives strength and provides courage when you don’t personally own it, those attributes become yours through you are associated with. The in-between stages aren’t supposed to be walked through alone. Later on Joshua gets more instruction on what to do at specific times but initially he had only this word to depend on.
How can we practise trusting in God’s word when you don’t have the full picture?
3. He is with you as you take each step
‘…for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land…’
Joshua couldn’t just observe from the sidelines the things he wanted to see come into existence. Anyone can imagine it. He had to move. With every step he took, he walked into a new, unfamiliar territory. Perhaps you are in a space where your next step could cause people to talk about you because it doesn’t match up with your past or it doesn’t make sense; but like Joshua, everything he had to do, was done in tandem with the Lord. This meant that every move Joshua did would rub the opposition the wrong way causing some to come to attack, others to cower away. As long as Joshua believed what God told him, he knew Who on his side and what the goal was to accomplish he had the confidence to keep stepping.
The only realistic way to have such Joshua confidence is to turn our focus to God in situations that makes sense and doesn’t. It’s usually the situations that doesn’t make sense that requires a different approach to what God said in the peaceful times because everything, literally, can come and distract you at the drop of a hat.
So remember what God has spoken to you and God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous, take note that that is you too. In a day where everyone has a chance to drop their opinion so freely and quickly, take time to process your own thoughts and opinions in your own personal space before you speak up and when you do prayerfully and wisely speak up be confident about what you have to say. Be confident in Who sent you.
In my next post, I’ll address more on that subject but a short take home would we be prepare daily by drawing close to God. Even if it doesn’t ‘feel’ like it is much, continue on because perhaps, like Joshua there is a generation behind you is waiting on your obedience.
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