Week of November 11
Stepping Up to God’s Call
Has God ever called you to a difficult task? Maybe you were led to witness to a friend or family member who was resistant to the Gospel. Or perhaps God wanted you to lead a Bible study or small group. How did you feel? Were you frightened, nervous, hesitant—or all of the above? God knows that our human emotions can sometimes hold us back, and that is why our Great Provider gives us all the encouragement we need to do His work.
God will not give us an assignment and then just walk away to let us do the work alone. He provides the resources we need to get the job done. He walks with us every step of the way, guiding us and encouraging us. He will never abandon us when we allow Him to work through us. In the words of the psalmist, “You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel” (Psalm 73:23–24).
Read Joshua 1. In this passage, we see God encouraging Joshua just before he is about to cross the raging Jordan River into the Promised Land. As the new leader of the Israelites, Joshua was in need of some encouragement. Not just once, but three times, God strengthens Joshua.
First, God gave an encouraging promise to Joshua: “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them” (Joshua 1:6).
Joshua knew he would ultimately have victory because God promised the end result. When God makes a promise, we can be fully confident that He will never fail us. We can find comfort and strength in the promises of God: “I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil” (Psalm 119:162). When we trust in the promises of God, we will have confidence to overcome any worry about the obstacles, rejections, or critics we will face.
After the promise, God encouraged Joshua through His Word: “Be strong and very courageous. … Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:7, 8).
True prosperity and success come from holding tenaciously to the Word of God. This doesn’t mean we won’t face setbacks or opposition in our work for the Lord. It doesn’t mean that every person we share the Gospel with will want to listen. But ultimately we will be on the right path when we follow God’s Word. As Scripture says: “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble” (Psalm 119:165).
The third encouragement for Joshua came from the presence of God. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Even more than God’s promises or His written Word, we have the presence of God. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). When we make our relationship with God a daily priority, when we consistently seek and listen to His voice, when we trust in Him moment by moment, then God will give us the victory.
What witnessing opportunity has God called you to today? Is it your neighbor with the hardened heart? Or the colleague who thinks he doesn’t need faith? What about the friend who is skeptical of a Creator? Write the name of that person below. Then write how God’s promises, Word, and presence will lead you through the task.
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