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Monday, October 13, 2014

Command: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 1

“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous, do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

For forty years the new nation of Israel had waited to enter the territory that the Lord God had promised them. Not because God had stripped His promise of power but because the people had listened to the fear from the original scouts so many years earlier and relinquished the opportunity to enter the land before them. Only Caleb and Joshua had pleaded with the people to trust the Lord.

But fear had paralyzed them even though God had already released them from slavery. And they would not step into God’s words. And they did not trust His message.

Now Moses had died, the generation from Egypt had passed and God told Joshua, “Now proceed to cross the Jordan.” “I will not fail you or forsake you.”

Once again the promises were given. And with them came commands to step out in confidence and courage and trust.

God acknowledged their dismay, their fear, their uncertainty, their weakness, their limited resources and their inexperience. However He commanded them to trust Him instead. He reminded them to follow the laws He had given them. He directed their focus. “Do not turn to the right or to the left that you may be successful wherever you go.”

Repeatedly He told them to be strong and courageous, to be strong and very courageous.  Again the decision lay before them. Not only the land itself but also the choice to believe in God’s words, accept His promises, and obey His directions.

He understood their quaking hearts. Yet the only way they could rise above their fear and step into a new beginning and a new life was to choose to fix their eyes on Him and follow.

Lord, You still call us to move into new life, to follow where You lead, and still we let fear paralyze us. Thank you for reminding us that by Your help and Your presence we can choose to trust Your words. Thank you for supplying courage to obey Your truth and in turn share with others Your words of hope.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 121: 8

“The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.”

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