Will be with you
I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses … No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
- from Joshua 1:3-5
Yesterday we considered how intimidating it must have been for Joshua to take the reins of leading Israel after the death of Moses. Today, we’ll discover the secret to how Joshua found the courage to lead in challenging times.
The Lord makes a big, huge, enormous, gigantic promise to Joshua. Can you find it in today’s passage?
Twice in today’s passage we hear the name of Moses mentioned. Moses knew the Lord intimately and represented the Lord passionately. Moses’ leadership in challenging times bore the courageous stamp of someone who confidently believed that the Lord walked with him, cared about him, and kept his promises. Moses’ shadow hangs over everything that Joshua does in his leadership.
The shadow of a great person of faith or a great leader will crush you if you fuel your identity, work, and faith off of comparison. Joshua could have been buried beneath Moses. But instead Joshua heard the Lord’s promise: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.”
The presence of the Lord gives courage: to Joshua as it did to Moses, to Joshua as it can to us.
Joshua knew from observing Moses’ life what an impact it made to have the Lord present in the midst of challenging times. Impossibilities became possible. Capacities grew. The humblest people could shine like the sun.
We also have inherited the promise of the Lord’s presence. What he promised to Moses and then to Joshua, he has now passed down to all who follow Jesus, who told his disciples: “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:20b).
What could you do if only you knew the Lord would be with you?