This week in the In the Gap Online Bible Studies as we are studying "Kicking Fear to the Curb" we looked at three heroes of faith--David, Joshua, and Jesus. All three were triumphant in the face of fear.
Joshua stood out for me this past week and he is an excellent model to emulate in our faith over fear walk! In Joshua 1, God tells Joshua 3 times in the first 9 chapters to be of “good courage”. Each of the three verses coincides with a reminder from the Lord of what is needed to help his people “be of good courage” to face their fears.
What the Israelites did to prepare their hearts for belief is an example we can follow to prepare our own hearts to believe God and conquer fear. Below are the verses God spoke to Joshua and how God spoke to my heart regarding how to apply this to my life.
“Be strong and of good courage for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. “ Joshua 1:6
1. Remember God’s promises. God said He swore to their fathers to give them the land. Anytime God makes a promise, I can expect Him to deliver on that promise. I do not need to be afraid. He will do what He said He will do.
Before Joshua led the Israelites to Jericho, he reminded them of God’s promise. “The Lord your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.”(Joshua 1:13) I must also remember and remind myself of God's Word when I am afraid and speak His Word to overcome my fear.
“ Be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses, My servant, commanded you; do not turn form it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7
2. Obey His commands. Living pure and holy lives is important in overcoming fear and walking in boldness and confidence. In Joshua 3:5, Joshua exhorts the Israelites the day before the Lord opened the waters for them to cross over the River Jordan. Joshua said, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” When I am living in the truth of God’s Word, I can have confidence to do what God has called me to do and believe that the Lord will do wonders!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1: 9
3. Remember God is always with me. Throughout Joshua 3 and 4 there is an emphasis on the Ark of the Covenant being with His people and going before them as they crossed over the River Jordan on dry land. The Ark is mentioned in in Joshua 3:3,6,8,11,13,14,15 and Joshua 4: 5,6,7,9,10,11,16,18. Of course, the Ark of the Covenant is symbolic of the Lord being with them.
When facing difficult circumstances and overcoming fear, it is important to remember my God is with me, for me, and goes before me (Psalm 139:5). I must keep my eyes on Him. They had a physical symbol of the Ark. I don’t have an Ark, but I have something better, the living Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
4. Remember what God has done for me in the past. In Joshua Chapter 4, I love how the Lord asks Joshua to put 12 stones up in the midst of the Jordan River (Joshua 4:3-9)as a reminder to the Israelites and their generations to follow of how the Lord parted the waters so they could cross over the river on dry ground. God is always faithful. He has always been faithful in the past and He will always be faithful in the future. He will come through to save, deliver and rescue no matter what the situation. (I think I might just go get some stones to set up!!)
5. Watch my words. God had the Israelites remain silent until they shouted for the walls of Jericho to come down. “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth until the day I say to you, “Shout!” (Joshua 6: 10)
My words affect my faith. Words of unbelief and doubt reap actions of unbelief and doubt. Words of belief and faith, reap actions of belief and faith. Words of doubt feed fear. Words of faith feed courage.
Joshua used the the train of thought--belief-faith-courage-action-success. He believed God’s promise, encouraged himself and others in that faith through God’s Word, and he took action on what God said to do. In the end, the walls of Jericho came tumbling down and Joshua entered into his promise land.
As we follow the same train of thought, we build up our belief in God which feeds our faith, inspires courage, which in turn empowers action and our walls of Jericho will come down so we can enter our promise land as well!!
So long fear!!! We are leaving him behind as we move forward into our promise lands!!!