(Wednesday, January 22, 2014) As I speak to these pastors every day, I often find I am speaking to myself as well. Sometimes it is conviction, other times encouragement. The conviction I’ll keep private, but the encouragement I want to share with you.
One of the last-minute replacement messages I put together after the first pastor’s conference was on Joshua as a leader, taken from his first battle experience as leader. He was totally overwhelmed with the seemingly impossible task of defeating impregnable Jericho in order to enter the Promised Land. Nothing in his military experience had prepared him for such challenge, yet God had led them to enter the land right where Jericho stood. So Joshua went outside the camp by himself to think and pray. Being alone was appropriate for he felt alone with the load of his responsibility resting only on him, No one else could share the burden, no one could really understand just how he was feeling and what he was going through.
I can identify with those feelings and I’m sure you can as well. Even when surrounded by many people, we can feel very alone in the challenge we are facing. I’m in a country of over 1 billion people, but in trying to fulfill the responsibility God has given me I feel quite alone. Having Nancy with me this trip is wonderful beyond words, but speaking and ministering and the many choices and decisions that go with it are mine alone.
You, too, face situations in your family or with friends, at work, in health or financial matters, that are yours alone. No one who isn’t in your situation can really understand, and even then each situation is different. No 2 are totally alike. So we feel alone. That’s how Joshua felt.
What happened, though, was that God Himself appeared to him to reassure him that he wasn’t alone (Joshua 5:13). God had promised he would not be alone (Joshua 1:5). He has repeated that exact same promise to us as well (Hebrews 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6-8, I Kings 8:57). When I share this truth with the pastors God applies it to my heart as well. We are not alone. I am not alone. You are not alone. Yet our enemy would do all he can to convince us we are alone, God is not with us, he does not care about us. Remembering that we are not alone is absolutely crucial to moving ahead in faith. If not we will become discouraged and defeated. The truth of the matter is that we are not alone. Never. God is always with us. He is in India with me every moment. He is with you wherever you are every moment. We never need to feel alone. Never!
Joshua 1:5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5 God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
When do you tend to feel most alone? Memorize one of the above verses today. Meditate n it all day. Remember it all day long. Share this truth with others.