“Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 CSB
As a young boy I still remember having dreams of being chased by a vehicle. I recall waking up in the night with a rapid heartbeat and scared to death. I'm not sure of the reason for these nightmares, but I was afraid.
There are times even today when I'm afraid. And I've found that I can do some really crazy things when I'm afraid. How about you?
In the previously mentioned Scripture, Moses has learned that he will not enter into the Promised Land. Thus he is preparing Joshua for his fast approaching leadership assignment and it is not shocking that Moses encourages his successor to be “strong and courageous” not afraid. Moses knew all about the reality and consequences of fear.
Fear is not only something to be reckoned with in Old Testament times, it is also just as life-threatening in the New Testament. Just read Luke's rendition of the Christmas story. The angel Gabriel tells Elizabeth, Mary, and Joseph in some form “don't be frightened.”
God reminds us over and over in the pages of His word to trust Him. He's always with us.
As we embark upon new opportunities and new assignments from God in the New Year, we can cower in fear and disregard God's invitation to follow Him or we can trust our God Who will never abandon us. We don't have to be afraid as sons and daughters of the most high God. It's our decision.
Joshua, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph and countless others had a decision to make. It's the same decision facing God's people today. Do we settle for what appears to be safe and most comfortable or do we go with God? Will we decide to trust our heavenly Father, who calls us and assures us of His presence and power for the journey?
What fear has the potential of restraining you? What person makes you afraid to tell the truth? What church needs their pastor to preach uncompromised truth of God's inerrant word? What congregation needs to stop focusing on the budget report and trust in the One who issues the invitation and promises He will NEVER abandon His children?
Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.”
Carlyle Hall, Jr.