A long time ago, I was praying for people at the altar on a Sunday morning. A young man approached me asking for prayer as he was approaching the day when he was leaving home for the first time to enter college. He was a believer but needed assurance and encouragement. Feeling led by the Lord, I turned to Joshua chapter one and let him read the Word out loud from Joshua 1:6-7.
“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
Years later after he had graduated and married, I saw him again. He reminded me of the special time at the altar and how God had repeatedly used the Scripture from Joshua to give him courage and faith to persevere. By God’s grace, he has enjoyed many years of fruitful ministry as a pastor and district leader. God’s Word is powerful! Imagine the task ahead of Joshua. Moses, his mentor and leader, was dead. The Israelites (estimated at over two million) needed to be led into the Promised Land to claim their inheritance. There were many enemies and obstacles, and the believers had bad habits of complaining and giving up. Joshua needed God! He needed to remember what God had spoken, especially during times of testing. I wonder how many times Joshua quoted to himself the words, “Be strong and courageous”? As you read the book of Joshua, you discover how God used Joshua’s life and example to move the people from wandering in the desert to victory in the Promised Land. The Lord wants to use you and me to lead others to Christ and into a life of spiritual growth. The reality is that we can only give them what we receive and put into practice. Take from the grace of God and freely give. In Philippians 4:13, Paul reminds us, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Pastor Mark Boucher