“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9.
Take a moment and put yourself in Joshua’s shoes. Moses, his mentor and friend, the man who had led the Israelites for forty years through the wilderness was dead. The circumstances surrounding Moses’ death were mysterious. The last time Joshua had seen him, he appeared to be in the prime of his life (Deut. 34:7). Joshua couldn’t even find Moses’ grave in order to pay respects (Deut. 34:6).
It was in that moment that God called Joshua.
God commanded Joshua to lead His people across the Jordan to take possession of Canaan (Joshua 1:1-5). It was a monumental task. Canaan was filled with large, fierce warriors who lived in fortified cities (Numbers 13:28). Next to them, the Israelites felt like grasshoppers (Numbers 13:33).
Joshua faced a military campaign that would take over seven years to complete. It was a daunting prospect. Yet God offered Joshua the following encouragement and direction:
“… 7be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
God instructed Joshua to be strong and courageous. Despite the difficulty of the task that lay before him, Joshua could take courage in the knowledge that God has promised Canaan to Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21). That promised rested on God’s shoulders, not Joshua’s. God would handle the promise … all Joshua had to take care of was his own obedience. He was to meditate on God’s Word day and night and be careful to observe its commands. As long as he did that, God would take care of the rest.
The same can be said of our salvation. God has promised salvation to those who are in His Son (1 John 5:11-13). We can take confidence in this promise because it rests on God’s shoulders, not our own. Like Joshua, all we need to tend to is our own obedience. Paul tells the Philippians, “… just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling (2:12).
Christians, once we are in the Son, we need not worry about our salvation. We serve a God that is fully capable of leading us to the Promised Land. It is our calling to tend to our obedience. Like Joshua, we must meditate on God’s Word day and night. We must be careful to stay focused on God’s Word. We must remain strong and courageous regardless of how overwhelming our circumstances may appear.
Today is the day we can quit trying to earn our salvation, and begin responding to God’s promise of salvation with confidence, strength, and obedience.