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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them."— Joshua 1:4–6 (NIV, emphasis added)
The new year . . . it’s a hopeful time filled with new possibilities, new adventures, new ideas, and big dreams. It can be very exciting, but it can also be a little scary. With big dreams comes uncertainty. What happens if I fail? What if leaving my job to pursue my calling blows up in my face? How do you react when uncertainty arrives?
In Joshua 1, we see Joshua face a similar situation. Moses has ridden off into the sunset, and the Lord appoints Joshua to lead the people of Israel in this new season. He directs Joshua by saying, “Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them” (Joshua 1:2 NLT).
The big dream, the promised land, lies before Joshua and the people. God has been faithful to bring them to the doorway of their destiny. But here’s the thing about the doorway of destiny: you have to walk through it in faith. Truthfully, Joshua didn’t know what awaited him and the Israelites on the other side of the Jordan.
Even with God’s promises and direction, stepping out in faith is hard. The uncertainty and lack of control we experience when entering new seasons, even when we have complete confirmation from the Lord, can give even the most mature believers pause. What if I fail? This call is too big, Lord. You’ve got the wrong guy.
Friends, I can guarantee you that any time God gives you a calling, anytime He puts a burden on your heart or leads you into a new season, it’s always going to be too big. That doorway of destiny is always going to be daunting. Why? Because we’re not meant to accomplish the work on our own; we’re not meant to lead ourselves through it. The doorway is too big because our big God is supposed to walk through it with us! Look at what He says to Joshua: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
When we press through the fear and uncertainty, when we proceed in faith and obedience, believing the Lord’s promises are true, trusting that He is with us, that He goes before us as a good shepherd leads His sheep, that’s when we find our strength and courage. So, in this new year, if God is calling you to something amazing, make Joshua 1:5 the rallying cry of your heart. Keep those words with you at all times.
DIG: Why do new seasons often scare us?
DISCOVER: How has the Lord spoken to you and given you courage in those crossroad moments?
DO: Write down Joshua 1:5 and carry it around with you. Use it as a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.