by William Wyne

God's Formula for Faithfulness
William Wyne
Joshua 1:6-9 (NIV)

6 ''Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 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. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.''

The text this morning opens with a Divine word of encouragement to Joshua. Joshua in the first five verses receives God's divine Exaltation in his promises to him. God also commissions him to assume this place of leadership in the life of the people. He assigns him the awesome task of carving out a new path, a new direction, a new field of faith for Israel. Joshua is apparently shaken, and perhaps unsure about this endeavor. He is literally scared.

When you are about to embark on something new, a new territory in your life, a new venture for your life, a new opportunity for your life, a new phase in your life, a new relationship in your life, the unknown can be scary. The mind begins to make you think that you cannot do this new task, the task before you make you think that you are not up to the task. What has happened seems to become more dominant than what can happen.

Your past experiences flash scenes of failure and shortcoming that will lead you to retreat. Joshua heard God's expectation and exaltation in verses 1-5, but what he needed from God now was God's Encouragement. You see it; leaps off the page in verse 6:
Be strong, be courageous!
Courage is doing what you are afraid to do, yet somehow and some way you find th ...

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