“ No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance.” Joshua 1:5-6, CSB
Has God ever called you to something that felt completely impossible in your own strength?
When our sons were eleven and thirteen, God called us to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia. After mountains of paperwork and mountain-moving prayers we sensed God leading us to adopt a two girls between four and six years old so there wouldn’t be a huge age gap with our boys.
But in the end, God didn’t give us two little girls that fit nice and neatly into our family. He gave us a baby: a six month old baby girl who weighed eight pounds.
We knew without a doubt she was to be ours, but we also knew she was severely malnourished, which meant high risks of neurological struggles and many unknowns.
However, what scared me most was that I was forty-two years old, had aging parents with health issues, tween and teenage boys I was desperately trying to figure out how to parent, a very full-time job and no memory of anything I ever knew about babies.
How in the world am I going to do this? I wondered.
I imagine Joshua may have asked the same thing when God called him to step into Moses’ shoes and take on the assignment of leading the nation of Israel into the Promise Land.
I love this story so much because God didn’t just call and commission Joshua, and leave him that to figure it out on his own.
God prepared Joshua through decades of serving beside and learning from Moses.
God equipped Joshua by allowing him to see the struggles and victories, blessings and battles of a Godly leader, and God’s favor and faithfulness to a person fully surrendered to God’s calling.
God empowered Joshua with confidence by reminding him it was God who would fulfill His promise to give them this land. Joshua’s assignment was stay dependent on God’s presence and obedient to God’s direction.
God commanded Joshua to stay strong and courageous and then He told him how.
Above all, be strong and very courageous to observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7, CSB
Supernatural strength and courage were available to Joshua and they are available to us. Not because we have what it takes within ourselves to fulfill our God-sized assignments. But because we have access to the same promises, power, and resources God gave Joshua.
God’s presence with us.
To remember. Rely on. Follow every day.
God’s Words for us.
To seek. Know. Look to and never neglect.
To think about. Meditate on and obey.
When God called us to adopt Aster, our now nine-year-old little girl with significant special needs, I felt completely inadequate, overwhelmed, and afraid.
Yet, God was and is with me, like He was with Joshua. And I know He is with you, too.
There are days when I am not so strong or courageous, but when I remember God’s presence with me and rely on His Words for me, I feel infused with the kind of strength and courage I had never known before.
Has God called you to something that requires supernatural strength and courage? How does Joshua’s story encourage you?