9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
Joshua was challenged with a very difficult task, and after wandering in the desert for 40 years, he could’ve become weary and discouraged. Who would’ve blamed him?
But with God’s help, he did rise up to face the giants. Athlete, you can too!
In Joshua 1:9, God personally encourages Joshua, exhorting him to be strong and courageous in his new leadership role, and He promises Joshua that He will be with him wherever he goes.
This promise is for all Christians today as well.
But just as in a relay handoff, Joshua had to take the baton of faith from Moses and run his own race. So the very first challenge that Joshua faced was one of personal belief.
Moses, Joshua’s mentor of 40 years, was dead, and God immediately called upon Joshua to step out in faith. What can we learn from Joshua?
Let’s remind ourselves what Joshua was called to do.
“Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel” (Joshua 1:2).
Joshua was put in a situation that forced him to practice the faith and beliefs that he had been professing. In other words, he was challenged to own his faith.
You’ve heard the expression, “They can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?” This is exactly what Joshua was being called to do. It was time for him to walk the walk, stepping out in his personal faith and trusting God for the outcome.
Let’s read God’s Word for insight into what personal faith is.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1,2).
In a relay race, the handoff only works if I hold out my hand and actually take the baton.
It’s the same way with our personal faith. God offers us salvation by grace through faith, and our job is to accept it, receive it, surrender to it, stand in it and to run with it by living it out daily.
Let’s apply God’s word to our lives, ask some hard questions and respond to God’s prompting.
Reflect: Athlete, do you own your faith? Do you understand that faith is a gift from God that you can’t earn? Have you received salvation by grace alone? Do you have peace with God and walk in joy and hope?
A prayer to consider: Lord, help us to own our faith by exercising it daily.