Have you ever had to replace a person who had done an outstanding job? Now its up to you to fill their shoes at home, work or church. That’s the situation Joshua found himself in when Moses died. Moses was a living legend, the kind of person it is impossible to replace. Moses was extremely gifted in leadership and an intellectual genius. Joshua was an average, run-of-the-mill kind of guy. But everyone is looking up to him to replace Moses. In addition, he has the added responsibility of leading the Jews into the Promised Land and defeating the giants that had kept them out 40 years earlier. Talk about a daunting assignment!
As if that isn’t bad enough, God leads them to an impossible entry point. The Jordan River in flood stage just couldn’t be crossed. Even if it could, blocking their access to the land on the other side of the river was the mega-fortress Jericho, the strongest military installation in the land! What God was expecting of Joshua was humanly impossible. In addition, it seemed like God was clearly making a mistake in what He expected of Joshua. This was clearly beyond Joshua’s ability and skill.
Do you ever feel like God is expecting the impossible of you? What is happening just doesn’t make sense – God seems to be going about things all wrong. What are we to do? Well, what did Joshua do? He believed God’s promises that He would be with Joshua (Joshua 1:1-9). God promised that He would give them the land (Joshua 1:2-6) but they would have to fight for it. Joshua was to lead the people in battle and God would give them the ultimate victory. Victory is assured, but the battle must be fought. God gave Joshua personal promises as well. He told Joshua that He would never leave or forsake him (Joshua 1:5). This promise is repeated for us in Hebrews 13:5. Three times God told Joshua to be strong and courageous and to not be afraid. Obviously Joshua struggled with this, as we do today. We, too, have God’s promises to carry us through our times of fear. Acquaint yourself with the following verses, write them down, memorize them, and whenever you are attacked with fear fight back using your Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Psalm 118:6; 23:4; Genesis 26:24; 15:1; Exodus 14;13; Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10; Deuteronomy 31:6; Matthew 14:27; 2 Chronicles 32:7-8.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)