WEEK 39 | CONQUER FEAR
Life is real and there are a lot of things that can trouble our hearts and cause us to fear. Joshua was up against some incredible odds. The challenge was great and his enemies and obstacles were formidable. God told him three times in the span of three verses (vs. 6, 7, 9) not to fear. In Joshua 1:1-18, we find 12 things that Joshua remembered that helped him face his fears with courage and faith. These are 12 things we need to pray exist in our lives and the lives of those near and dear to us.
- REMEMBER HIS PERSON
VS. 1: After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide.
> God is love. He drives out fear. He does not want us to live in fear. He wants to help us be courageous. As Craig Groeschel reminds us, “Fear doesn’t come from God.”
- REMEMBER HIS PURPOSES
VS. 2: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.
> There is a big picture and master plan in play. Trust God and His purposes.
- REMEMBER HIS PROMISES
VS. 3: I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
> According to one account, there are 3,573 promises in the Bible, and BibleGateway states there are 5,467. Whichever source you use, you can count on a solid 10-15 promises for each day of year! There are over 360 “fear nots” in the Bible as well – one for every day of the year. Don’t let fear skew your view of God and His promises.
- REMEMBER HIS PROVISION
VS. 4: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.
> Where God guides He provides. Where He leads he meets our needs. (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:33)
- REMEMBER HIS POWER
VS. 5a: No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.
> While God is not our cosmic genie, He is our omniscient/omnipresent/omnipotent Almighty.
- REMEMBER HIS PRESENCE
VS. 5b: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
> God loves us. He is for us, and He is with us. We must never forget. We must always remember. I love the words of the old hymn that states, “Immortal, invisible, God only wise, In light in accessible hid from our eyes, Most blessed, most glorify, the Ancient of Days, Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.”
- REMEMBER HIS PERSPECTIVE
VS. 6: Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
> Choose to see things as God sees them. We are free to choose! Today, let’s choose courage over fear. We can be strong and courageous because God is for us.
- REMEMBER HIS PRINCIPLES
VS. 7: 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.
> Principles are defined as “rules governing one’s personal beliefs & behavior.” That’s what the Bible is to us. Spend less time in fear or discouragement and more time focusing on fully following Christ and His guidebook for our lives.
- REMEMBER HIS PEACE
VS. 8: 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.
> Assurance brings peace, while uncertainty produces anxiety and even fear. Our confidence is in Christ.
- REMEMBER TO PERSEVERE
VS. 9: 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.
> Fear can lead to discouragement, which can lead to hopelessness. Keep hope alive by keeping your eyes fixed on Christ!
- REMEMBER TO PROCEED
VS. 10-11: So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”
> This jumps out at me. We need to be proactive. There’s God’s part, and there’s our part. He ALWAYS does His part. We need to obey and do our part. Don’t let fear render you unfaithful to God’s will. Overcome. Risk. Reach. Joshua stepped out, and so must we. As Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
- REMEMBER HIS PEOPLE
VS. 12-18: But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’ Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.” Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 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. Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”
> This passage reminds me so much of classic Scripture texts like Hebrews chapters 11 & 12. We are not alone. Many have come before us and many are living valiantly for Christ in the present. Let their resilient and valiant examples spur your faith.
Fear can stifle us and discourage us; it can affect our mind and bodies and relationships and faith in a bad way. But in God’s strength, like Joshua, we can choose courage and face our fears with faith. I’m praying you remember these 12 things this week. Let’s pray these 12 for ourselves and for those around us.