Weak-kneed and Powerful

Common sparrow

Watering: No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

***

“Be strong and very courageous… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

Watching:

Joshua was stepping into very big shoes. He had been Moses’ faithful follower and a great student. In all ways, he had learned to put his faith in God Almighty and not the arm of man. But now God tells him it’s to be his arm and he’s the man; the playing field is changing and he’s being “promoted.”

 

How weak-kneed he must have felt.

 

I love that God answers the prayers of his heart before they are even uttered. I love that He cuts through any seedlings of bravado and brings the Truth straight to the need:

“Be strong.” Joshua must have felt weak.

“Take courage.” Joshua must have felt scared and discouraged.

“Be very courageous.” Joshua must not have thought he heard correctly!

“I will never leave you and I will never forsake you.” Joshua obviously needed reassurance.

I can just hear the heart of God talking gently to Joshua:

I’ve got this, Josh. Really. And in case you are not quite sure about all this, here, listen to those I’ve asked you to lead. They are my echo to you:

“Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses…Only be strong and courageous!

But honestly, what I love most is God never asks Joshua to be like Moses, and he never says,”Get out of your comfort zone.”

No, instead, the God of all comfort, speaks life and hope to Joshua. He speaks strength to his weakness, peace to his fear and assurance to his doubt. God doesn’t ask Joshua to leave the safety of his comfort, rather, he asks him to walk into it:

“I will never leave you and I will never forsake you. Follow me.”

Comfort is found

walking beside the Comforter.

 

Wondering:

So how does this story fit into my spiritual wardrobe? How do I learn from Joshua’s lesson?

I can be scared and weak-kneed

and yet

oh so powerful in Him.

Jesus has given me everything I need for this God-given life.

He will not lead where his spirit has not gone before or does not guard from behind.

He sees, understands and fathers my need.

I can step forward into the God of all comfort, who gently coaches from behind, “This is the way you should go,”

I can follow behind the Good Shepherd who leads and never leaves.

I am known

– and loved –

by the One who calls into being

the things that are not.

“Be strong” Bam! There is strength.

“Be courageous!” Bam! He brings courage.

“Don’t be afraid.” Bam! Fear is gone.

“Don’t be discouraged!” Bam! Discouragement must leave.

I am not loved by a god who says, “I am with you only if you go here, or don’t stumble there, or only take that next step, or else…”

No, I am loved by a risen, living, hugging kind of Savior who says,

“I am with you wherever you go.”

Bam!

I have all the comfort I will ever. possibly. need.

Waiting:

Lord, today, I will listen to your words to Joshua, to me.

Today, I will awaken this dawn with thankfulness for your love and faithfulness that are. so. sure.

Today, Jesus, help me be your encouragement for others, “shoving” them only by prayer into the zone of your comfort.

holding-hands

When you need courage

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Watering:

After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ aide:

“….No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Watching:

Three times the Lord tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. Three times He looks into Joshua’s heart and knows the depths of its needs. Three times God encourages and strengthens Joshua with promises. And on the third time the Lord takes out his “Do as I say” Dad’s voice and says:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.” … Josh, you’ve been trained by the best. You’ve been selected by me. I’ve given you your pep talk and told you what to do. Therefore, it is able to be done. So Now, go and BE.

“Be” is the defining action of this command.

BE, Joshua.

It doesn’t say BECOME, or ACT or FIGHT strong and courageously.

It doesn’t say PRAY, or STAND or BELIEVE strong and courageously.

It doesn’t say  LIVE, ATTACK, CONQUER… LOVE or the myriad of verbs the Lord could have said. But no… God says this instead:

BE.

Wondering:

I don’t always “BE” very well. I find myself “DOING” a whole lot more (mostly just spinning my wheels.)

And even just the idea of following in the footsteps of Moses??  Makes me nauseous (in that “trying-to-live-up-to-everyone’s-expectations” kind of way.)  …Which reminds me how desperately I need the same God-given courage:

Rest your mind and heart on my word, sweetheart.

Keep your eyes and your steps focused on me, Punkin.

In all your ways acknowledge me, and I will direct your paths.

I am the Lord your God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, the Red Sea Surgeon, Your Manna-Giving Father, the Great I AM who will never leave you, never forsake you, never slumber or sleep. I will be by your side and help you BE all that I knit you together in the womb to BE.

I AM, so you can BE.

* * *

Joshua, like me,  didn’t have to rise to the occasion… He just simply had to sink to his knees. His only command was to BE.

To BE at rest in the power and Truth of the God

that goes before

and guards from behind.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Moses,

and the God of Joshua.

 

And this same command is mine.

 

Jane, have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. When all your NOWs present themselves as enemies… just simply BE.

Because in my strength and in the courage from my hand, You are mine.

“… and I am the God that fights for you.”

 

Waiting:

Jesus,  you are the the God of Abraham, Isaac and Moses, and the God of Joshua. And you are the God of little ‘ol me.

 Help me to BE … in the NOW of who you are.

Watering Today: Joshua 1-2; Prov. 20; Psalms 20, 120; Acts 10-11

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