William Seeker, a 17th-century clergyman, is quoted as saying, “Another singular action of a sanctified Christian is to prefer the duty he owes God to the danger he fears from man. Christians in all ages have prized their services above their safety. ‘The wicked flee when no man [is pursuing]; but the righteous are bold as a lion.’ ”
After Moses’ death, God prepared Joshua to be as bold as a lion so he could lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the promised land of Canaan (Joshua 1:1-9). God knew many risks, difficulties, and oppositions (within and without) lay ahead of His chosen leader and His chosen people. So Joshua would need to act bravely during the difficult days and to do dangerous things out of obedience to God.
In a span of several verses, God used powerful words to build courage into Joshua’s heart: “Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you” (Joshua 1:3); “No one will be able to stand against you” (Joshua 1:5); “I will be with you . . . I will not fail you or abandon you” (Joshua 1:5); “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6); “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
What was Joshua’s response to God’s promise of His abiding presence and blessing? He chose to follow diligently God’s words and to believe that He would strengthen, guard, and protect him (Joshua 1:10-11).
As believers in Jesus, we’re called to do things that can be difficult (talking to our neighbors about Jesus), risky (ministering to the marginalized), and even potentially dangerous (taking the gospel to unreached people groups) out of obedience to God. As God promised Joshua, He has promised to be with us (Hebrews 13:5). Let’s boldly obey His Word and declare His truth.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 11:19-29
Just as He did with Joshua, God gave encouraging words to King Jehoshaphat. Read 2 Chronicles 20:15-19.
How has God moved you from the cramped space of fear to the open space of courage and obedience? What risky or dangerous thing is He calling you to do out of obedience to Him and His Word?