Essential Blog

Joshua: A 14 day devotional- DAY 11

Day 11 “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn away from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  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 then 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 1:7-9)

“Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you.”  By all accounts, Joshua (and Caleb) were the bravest of all the Israelites.  Yet, even these courageous warriors and men of God were vulnerable to experiencing moments of fear, doubt and discouragement.  Whenever you find yourself in those moments, you must be reminded of the reality that “God is with you” (Immanuel).  I know that in my life I have to stop and remember this fact and I have to take time to remember that God is not only “with” me, but He is also “for” me.  If God is “for us” than who or what can be against us?  As we meditate on that truth, we find that in the inner recesses of our soul that there remains a reservoir of courage that begins to flood our spirit again.  The reality of the presence of God in our lives is the well from which our courage to face difficult situations springs up in our lives.

  1. Reflect on the truth that God is “with you” today. How does that change the way you face your fears?
  2. Reflect on the truth that God is “for you” today. How does that change the way you face your foes?


Joshua: A 14 day devotional- DAY 10

Day 10 “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn away from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  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 then 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 1:7-9)

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.” God commands us to be strong and courageous!  This is not a pep-rally in which God is hoping He might get Joshua psyched up, but a COMMAND.  A command with the same weight as, “Do not murder,” or “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”  It is not optional and it is not limited to Joshua.  God commands all of us (who are leaders in our own area of influence) to “be strong and courageous.”  What if each of us were to take this command seriously?  Would our churches be different?  Our schools?  Our towns?  Our nation?  As believers, our strength and courage should cause us to stand out and draw unbelievers to God.  There is a generation of young people today who are lost, hurting, and scared that are looking for someone in this world to show them how to be strong and courageous in the midst of their world that is crashing around them.  Are we as believers promoting a spirit of fear (fear of the world, evil influences, Satan) or one of “power, love, and self-discipline?”  (2 Timothy 1:7)  When faced with the unfamiliar and overwhelming aspects of life, our natural response is to hide in fear. However, when we people see someone with true God-inspired courage and strength they are drawn to it and will follow.

  1. How is God COMMANDING you to be “strong and courageous” today at work or school or with friends and family?
  2. Will you commit to “be strong and courageous” no matter what it costs you today? Remember that God has not given you “a spirit of fear.”


Joshua: A 14 day devotional- DAY 9

Day 9 “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn away from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  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 then 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 1:7-9)

For then you will make your way prosperous and you will have good success.” At the very center of this passage, in the hub of this web of courage, strength, success, and prosperity is our own interaction with God’s Word.  It cannot be overstated that there is a direct correlation between a believer’s dedication to God’s Word and his ability to live in obedience to God, be strong, courageous, and successful. Never confuse the success you may have as anything other than God’s unmerited grace and mercy on your life.  “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of heavenly lights.” (James 1:17)  “Apart from me (Jesus) you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)  This being said, God seems to be indicating to Joshua that the success and prosperity that He is promising will come in cooperation with Joshua’s obedient hard work and effort.  While God will ultimately provide, Joshua must “make his way.”  It is important to know that in most cases, God blesses us through our own “sanctified sweat” in life and ministry.  James tells us that “faith apart from works is dead.” (James 3:26)  It seems as though the formula for God’s Success in our lives is this-  Faith that God will do/accomplish His purposes in our lives + Working hard in demonstration of that faith = God Success.  The person who has great faith but does not work hard will never see God’s full blessing in His life.  The one who works hard in his own strength apart from faith in God and His Way may accomplish temporal, worldly success, but ultimately will miss out on God’s success for his life. 
  1. Who gets the credit of any success you may experience in life?
  2. Does your faith in God inspire you to work hard?


Joshua: A 14 day devotional- DAY 8

Day 8 “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn away from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  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 then 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 1:7-9)

“So that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.”

The end result of reading, studying, meditating, and speaking God’s Word is DOING IT.  Again, we see the phrase “be careful” and we are reminded that living according to God’s Word is not an accident and it is not our natural, default inclination in any given situation.  To “be careful” is to be intentional with great care.  Intentionally meditating on His Word and speaking His truth to ourselves and to others are both essential ingredients in living out a consistent, Spirit-filled life of obedience to God.  If you try to live for God on a daily basis without spending time in God’s Word, meditating on it, and speaking it to yourself and others, you will probably find that your level of obedience to God is very “hit or miss” at best and downright disappointing at worst. As the New Testament book of James reminds us that we must do more than just read or talk about the Word of God, we must do it. In the “doing” of the Word comes the blessings and freedom of God.
  1. What is one truth from God’s Word that you “know” but are not actively doing? What is keeping you from taking that step of obedience?
  2. How are you striving to be “intentional” and “take great care” while reading or studying the Word?