Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Joshua 8:1 (NIV)
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.
Joshua 8:1 (MSG)
God said to Joshua, “Don’t be timid and don’t so much as hesitate. Take all your soldiers with you and go back to Ai. I have turned the king of Ai over to you—his people, his city, and his land.
“Now the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed (intimidated). Take all the men of war with you and set out, go up to Ai; see, I have given the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land into your hand.” -AMPLIFIED
The sin of Achan has been dealt with and now God speaks to Joshua once again. “Don’t be afraid or discouraged. Take all of your fighters up to Ai. Watch; I will hand over the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land to you.” -(VOICE)
Ai had beaten them terribly the first time around when Israel should have had not problem defeating them. Yet the sin of Achan was their downfall. Achan’s sin had been handled, with dire consequences. Now God encourages Joshua to not be afraid to confront the city of Ai again. God advises Joshua that the destruction of the city will happen in this way, “You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.” -Joshua 8:2 (NIV)
Time and time again we find God encouraging Joshua not to be afraid, but instead, to be strong and courageous. It is so easy to fall into fear when faced with intimidating circumstances. Satan would like nothing more than to freak us out and stop us from doing great things for God. Fear is one of the Enemy’s greatest tools. If he can distract us with fear, rather than allowing us to focus on God, than he wins the battle.
A. B. Simpson, the Canadian preacher, theologian, author, and founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, said this; “Fear is born of Satan, and if we would only take time to think a moment we would see that everything Satan says is founded upon a falsehood.”
Fear is not of God. The Apostle Paul reminds Timothy of this, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” -2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
God’s word to Joshua over and over again is this, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9 (AMP)
Do you see that word intimidated? God says do not be intimidated, cowed, fainthearted, discouraged or disheartened. “I will be with you wherever you go.” Do you not think that if God has called us to do great things for Him that He will not also go with us and also equip us to handle whatever it is that He has called us to do?
F.B. Meyer is noted as saying, “God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that, realizes that he is in the midst, that takes heed to the assurance of his loving presence, will be quiet in the midst of alarm.”
Take assurance, God is with you wherever you go. Do not be afraid or discouraged!
Lord, help me to trust you and not be afraid. So often I can see the Enemy of my soul raging war around me and it frightens me. Help me not to focus on what he is doing, but to instead be focusing on what you are doing in my life. Thank you for always being with me; that gives me peace and comfort. Knowing I am never alone to face the challenges of this life makes facing them a whole lot easier. God, you are so good to me and I love you!