I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
How does a person take the mantle of leadership from a larger-than-life figure like Moses? How could anyone step into Moses’ shoes and take the Hebrew people where Moses himself was unable to lead them? How did Joshua—who wasn’t even born when the Hebrews escaped from slavery in Egypt—do it? How do any of us tackle challenges that seem far greater than the abilities we have to bring to bear on them?
In verses 6–9, God offered Joshua a specific mantra three times. God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, for I am with you.” When a biblical author repeats a word or a statement, it is a clue that what is being written is of heightened importance. God wanted Joshua to have a mantra on his lips and heart and spirit that would encourage him as he led the Hebrew people across the Jordan River and into the promised land. God wanted this simple statement to run through Joshua’s mind when crossing the Jordan, entering battle, and besieging Jericho. “Be strong and courageous, for I am with you!” The only way to fill the shoes of a great leader is to constantly be mindful that One even greater than Moses travels with you. It was God’s promise to Joshua, it is God’s promise to you.
“Be strong and courageous, for I am with you.” Repeat that promise throughout your day today.
Lord, so often I feel as if I am on my own. I feel small. I doubt my abilities. I seem weak and uncertain. Perhaps I am, in fact, all those things. But You are not. You are everything I need, and in You, I find strength and courage. Help me to remember that as I silently whisper the mantra to myself. “Be strong. Be courageous. You are with me.” In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.