Deuteronomy 31:1-8 AMP AND MOSES went on speaking these words to all Israel: And he said to them, I am 120 years old this day; I can no more go out and come in. And the Lord has said to me, You shall not go over this Jordan. The Lord your God will Himself go over before you, and He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. And Joshua shall go over before you, as the Lord has said. And the Lord will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. And the Lord will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. And Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong, courageous, and firm, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to possess it. It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].
The Israelites were getting ready to enter the Promised Land. They had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and had become comfortable with wilderness living. It seemed as if they were to spend their lives in the wilderness. They knew that God had said they would stay there until all the generation that were 20 and above who had believed the evil report of the 10 spies that they could not conquer the giants in that land had died off. Moses had been their leader since they had left Egypt; they were used to the way he lead them. Now they being were challenged to break out of their complacency, to follow a new leader and to finally enter in and take the land that God had given them.
Many times we become “used” to life the way it is. We may have believed God to do something different, a promise that He had given us or a new thing that we felt that He said He was doing in our lives, but it seemed like it was taking forever for it to happen. We may have wondered if we really heard God correctly. I’m sure there were a lot of different thoughts going through the minds of the Israelities when God told them it was time to cross over and take the land. But notice that God only wanted them to think about two things: that He would go before them and cause them to possess the land, and that He would go with them as they marched through it. God didn’t want them to be afraid. He said they should have no cowardice or flinching in fear. He cautioned them to not become broken in spirit, depressed, dismayed or unnerved with alarm. They were to have faith in His ability to cause them to be successful in fighting against their enemies.
This morning I feel that God is saying the same thing to His people. You may be facing giants in your land. You may feel as if you are so small in comparison with the things that you are dealing with. It seems as if there is no way that you could succeed with the enormity of the problems ahead of you. But God……
God is mightier than your enemies. He is bigger than sickness and disease; poverty or lack. And He will go before you into those situations that you face. He goes before you into every situation to prepare the way for you to be successful in it and then He comes and takes you by the hand to walk with you through it. God gave Joshua some specific instructions in Joshua 1:9 about going into the Promised Land:
Joshua 1:9 AMP Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
God is always with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He doesn’t leave His children to face difficulties alone. But He does ask us to be strong, to be courageous, to not fear because fear and faith cannot work together. Fear is faith that the enemy is bigger and will do you more harm than God can do you good. Fear empowers the enemy to steal, kill and destroy your life. But faith is what moves the hand of God. Faith is trust in the Lord that He is able and will do what He has promised. Faith believes God before it sees God move. Without faith it’s impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) God simply asks that you put fear out of your life and that you believe Him to go before you and walk with you through whatever it is that you are facing.
New things always seem frightening, but when we realize that God has already walked there; that He has gone before us into it we gain courage knowing that He will be right there with us. It is easier to scale the mountain when you know you have a seasoned guide with you who has done it many, many times before. There are many this morning who are facing new things in their lives. So many people have experienced loss over the last few days. They are beginning again, facing what may seem to be insurmountable obstacles. And yet God will go before them and He will walk with them through the difficult days ahead; He will be right beside them as they undertake the new things, the days of putting their lives back together again.
If you are facing a giant in your land today, know that God has already defeated your enemies. He has equipped you to be successful and victorious in taking the land before you. Trust Him to walk with you through those days when it seems like you won’t make it. Give Him your faith and ask Him to develop it so that you can face the future with courage and strength. He will not leave you to fend for yourself.
Father, I come before You this morning and I thank You for going before us into the days of uncertainty that lie ahead of us. I thank You for equipping us to succeed and live above the storms of life. Thank You for Your strength that gives us the ability to continue walking into the unknown. Father, I pray for those this morning who are facing giants in their lives. You have already defeated the giants, Father, so I ask You to give them the assurance that they can fight the good fight of faith and win when they fight it with You beside them. I ask You to fill them with the courage that they need to face today with it’s problems and to be able to see that You are working in their lives to change those situations and make them victorious in the battles of life. Thank You, Father, for giving them a vision of the good that You have planned for their lives. Thank You for helping them to see the victory instead of defeat. Thank You for calming their inner beings and giving them peace in the midst of the storms. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.