Deuteronomy 31:1-6

1 And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel.
2 And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
3 The Lord thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath said.
4 And the Lord shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed.
5 And the Lord shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you.
6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Have you ever faced a challenge that left you feeling inadequate and afraid?

The great men and women in the Bible weren’t superhuman, so they undoubtedly experienced the same weaknesses we do. Though Joshua was a strong military leader, he probably felt inadequate to fill Moses’ shoes. After all, Moses had talked with God face to face, performed amazing miracles, and led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. How could Joshua ever expect to live up to that?

But remember, Moses didn’t start out as a mighty man of faith.

When God first called him to deliver the children of Israel, he focused on his own inadequacy and begged the Lord to send someone else (Ex. 4:10-13).

I think Moses knew exactly how Joshua felt. That’s why he exhorted his successor to be strong and courageous.

However, the strength Joshua needed was not going to come from positive thinking or puffed up self-confidence.

What he needed was assurance that the Lord would go ahead of him every step of the way and give the nation the land as promised. Confidence for God-given challenges never comes from within ourselves. But when we believe Him and rely on His Word instead of our feelings, He’ll give us the ability and courage to accomplish His will.

If your life were always easy, you’d never need strength and courage. But then you would miss great opportunities to get to know God intimately.

Only as we face one faith-stretching challenge after another and experience God’s faithfulness will we learn to depend on Him instead of ourselves.

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