Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them…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 when you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6; 8-9)
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I’ve read this passage hundreds of times and I’ve heard it preached on about the same amount. Yet the other day as I was re-reading it, I started to view it from Joshua’s perspective. He had just been handed the reigns to a nation and the unknown was before them. Fear was probably running through him, "Can I do this? What will we face? Will I make the right choices? Am I good enough? Will the people even listen to me? Am I prepared?"
Part of my story is that I never thought that I could lead people because I didn’t have the personality or the loud boisterous voice that I had seen in other leaders. I was the quiet, reserved observer in the background willing to help out in anyway that I could, but was apparently never meant to be in the front.
In fact, there were times in my life where I was shut down and told that I wasn’t talented enough, couldn’t engage the crowed like him or her, and that I was better suited to be the supporter. After digesting this several times, I truly began to believe that I was meant to dwell in the shadows.
In 2013, I was chosen to lead a team on a missions trip called the World Race and I physically laughed when it happened. I remember thinking, "Me leading, that’s a good one." I remember my alumni leader saying, “Alysa, you have no idea what God sees in you, the kind of influence you carry...but you have what it takes and you’ll see it this year. Will you trust Him?”
I nervously said “Yes” to leading and I realized that I wasn’t too different than Joshua, questioning, doubting, and being so uncertain of if I was good enough to do the task given to me. As I reflect, I wonder if Joshua fought with the same question that I have for most of my life (still even to this day): Is me being me good enough?
We all doubt, question, and wonder "Are we good enough?" Thankfully, Papa has given us a promise that He goes with us wherever we go. For He would not give us something that we couldn’t handle - and even when we may feel like we can’t, perhaps in these situations, He wants us to rely on Him more than ourselves.
I think that’s why He told Joshua to take courage. He already knew what he would be facing, but He also knew that he was prepared.
Three times Papa tells Joshua to be courageous. He knew that Joshua needed to hear this because courage is faith over fear. In other words, God was saying, “Joshua, have faith and speak that over your fears.”
What would happen if we started to speak our faith over our fears? To not talk about the mountain, but instead, talk to the mountain (Mark 11:23).
Fear paralyzes us from fulfilling our purposes; fears lie to us and inhibit us from going to where we might have won. Yes, I did use the word "might" because we have a choice, but we don’t really know unless we choose to risk where the Lord is leading.
One thing I’ve learned is that fear is having the faith that it won’t work out. And whatever I meditate on will either grow or hinder my faith. I still have moments where my mind and heart don’t line up, where fear starts to seep in with decisions, relationships, dreams, passions, jobs, etc. But, what is saturating my fear? Is it the word or is it the world?
The world around me had been telling me that I wasn't good enough; that I wasn't the right fit. But, when I said "Yes" and took a step of faith, God showed up! I have now lead for the same trip, am a house mentor, and who knows what is next. And do you want to know the secret? I didn't change who I was, but instead, allowed the Lord to use me as I am.
Yes, He has molded me, I've learned A LOT... but this I can be sure of: Me being me is good enough!
Just like Joshua, you are fully capable of helping people inherit the land that has always been promised to them. So what would it look like for you to take a small step of courage to talk to that person the Lord has been prompting you to talk to? To say yes to that job even though it pays less and doesn’t seem to make any sense? To go after your dream? To follow that passion the Lord has given you?
Because you and I my friend were never meant to stand idle in the shadows, but are meant to take steps of faith. And as we do, we in turn start to tangibly inherit our promise land.
written by: Alysa Sharp