Posted by: pmarkrobb | February 26, 2015

what is your Joshua story?

What does it mean when God repeats Himself?  It seems fairly obvious to suggest it means He wants the hearer to really pay attention, but like with all things related to God, I believe the answer goes far deeper.  I believe there’s a place in the seat of your soul that God wishes to awaken and engage when He chooses to repeat himself.  That makes me wonder all the more what God might have wanted to awaken and engage within Joshua as He repeated the words, “Be strong and courageous … Be strong and very courageous … be strong and courageous!” (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9 NLT)

It was a monumental moment.  Following the death of the legendary leader, Moses, God chooses Joshua as the one who will lead His people; lead them into and through, quite possibly, the most significant watershed moment in their history.  God will fulfill His promise to Moses and the nation of Israel.  The Promised Land is about to be theirs.

I can’t even imagine what it would have been like for Joshua.  He was used to the position of leadership; he was the leader of one of the twelve tribes (Ephraim) which made up the nation of Israel … but this was different.  It must be pretty amazing to be a governor of a state, but it’s another thing entirely to be President of the United States.  This is what Joshua was facing, and it seems like the equivalent of following FDR in the period just after The Great Depression.  God knew this, and spends time alone with Joshua encouraging and instructing him.

God is clear…

Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you — from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
Joshua 1:2-5 (NLT)

The time has come for you to lead

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live

What an unfathomable thing it would be to simply hear the voice of God.  What another thing entirely to hear God say that it was your time to lead, and that no one would succeed in standing in against you for as long as you lived.  How gracious is God to speak to Joshua that way.  God knows the heart of Joshua intimately, and I cannot help but think this direct and resolute instruction is meant to both calm and embolden Joshua.

I wonder if you’ve ever heard those words from God in your own life … Be strong and courageous, be very strong and courageous, be strong and courageous!  I can hear God saying them to my friend and brother John, as he looked into the face of his beloved wife, whose hand had been taken by Jesus and led to the place of her final healing last September.  And again this very morning as he wakes to the dawn of her very first birthdate since being separated on this side of eternity.  I can hear God saying those words to my friend and brother Jim, who is facing his second surgery on a brain tumor tomorrow morning.

What is your Joshua story?  Maybe you have many, maybe they’re a distant memory, or maybe you are hearing the voice of God right now saying, “Be strong and courageous, be very strong and courageous, be strong and courageous!”

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