Following God Into Battle
Following God even when you are in doubt is difficult. We often get caught up in the uncertainty of our future and forget Who is ultimately in charge. After Moses died Joshua was immediately made the Israelites’ “Commander in Chief,” and part of his responsibility was leading God's chosen people into the Promised Land.
When Joshua took his new position God instructed him three times to be “strong and courageous” as he led God's people into battle. Joshua had to boldly follow God despite the uncertainty of the future. And not only did he have to remain unwavering in his faith as the Israelites fought their adversaries, he also had to stay diligent to conquer the temptations that came along the way.
God commanded that Joshua depend on Him alone. He had to be "confident beyond reason" (FCA Competitor’s Creed) that God would provide a way for them succeed if he was going to lead the people to victory. He also had to trust that the safety of his people remained secure in God's hands.
As Christ-followers, we are called by God to be "strong and courageous" regardless of our circumstances. Jesus even calls His followers to take up their “crosses” and follow Him (Mark 8:34), which involves pain, humility, perseverance and death to our own desires.
As a soccer coach, my 11-year old girls often don't understand why we run and do exhausting drills in practice. What my sixth-graders can't see is that those difficult practices provide us with the skills and endurance we need to win our games.
On a much bigger scale, it’s the same way with God. He knows exactly what it's going to take for us to get a spiritual win, and He has a reason for our hardships. It's our responsibility to trust in His sovereignty so we can accomplish what He's made us for and ultimately lead His people with strength and courage.
- What is stopping me from following Christ head-on? What are my fears?
- In what areas do I need to be more courageous in trusting God's plan instead of my own?
- How can I help others find strength in their difficult circumstances?