The more I read of biblical giants, the more I stand in awe of my God. For none of these characters that I have been studying started out as giants at all. Moses wasn't born a leader, Joshua wasn't born a courageous conqueror, and David wasn't born a king. There is a common rhythm to which each of their hearts beats, and God doesn't want you and I to miss the tempo. Each of these men stepped into a life they never dreamed they would live. They were born anything but what they became. God does that with the willing, He creates in us a heart more like His, if we will allow Him. These men were called to extraordinary circumstances and through faith, they fulfilled their calling.
I was reading the beginning of Joshua's story last night, and I couldn't help but catch something that I know was very intentional, something God meant for you and I to cherish as a gift. The scene is this: Moses had died and Joshua had been selected by God as the new leader of the Israelites. He had an enormous task ahead of him...finally leading God's people into their promise land. So what does God repetitively say to Joshua three times within the first chapter: "be strong and courageous". That tells me something about the state of Joshua at that time...he wasn't feeling strong and courageous. He was getting ready to lead an army into a land occupied by "giants". Joshua was among one of the spies that Moses sent to explore Canaan, he had seen the men that occupied that land, he had experienced 40 years of wandering in the desert, and 40 years can do a lot to a person's confidence. Though he and Caleb were the only two spies that were trusting in God's ability to deliver them into the promised land, 40 long years had gone by at this point. And after all, Joshua was only human. Those 40 years had to have created in him doubt and fear. I wonder if he was starting to question the task at hand. I can't help but think he was, because God doesn't waste words, and 3 times He told Joshua to "be strong and courageous".
We know that God's word is alive and active, it is as relevant for us today as the audible words of God were to Joshua while he was standing outside the promise land preparing for battle. That is so very encouraging to me in my daily walk toward my calling. I am not expected to in my own strength be strong and courageous. God understands fear, He understands doubt, but He also very clearly understands who He is. He knows that the battle we face is already won. He knows that the enemy we are up against has already been defeated. God is confidently sitting on the other side of the tomb telling you and me, "I promise, you can trust Me, believe me when I tell you that I can do this".
God has taught us through Joshua that we are called to faith in the One that is capable. We are called not to our own strength, but rather to trust in His strength to knock down the walls at Jericho. All God is looking for is a few good men and women who like Joshua will say "Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving to you for your own." Joshua 1 :11. Won't you be one of those women that bear His name and march into your promise land with confidence! I speak to myself as much as I speak outwardly to you. I don't want to keep wandering around in the desert, not when I know my God is handing over to me a divine land that He has set aside for me.
There is a young mother of 4 at my children's school that was recently diagnosed with cancer. I do not know her personally, but I think and pray about her often. And through the communication of others that do know her, they have told me that she is fully trusting in our God to bring her through this. I am so impressed with that. It is one thing for someone like me that is not being faced with an immediate Canaanite army staring me down to say "trust God and be strong and courageous", but when a mother of 4 that is fighting cancer can confidently make such a claim...it is worth listening to. Don't you just know that God is looking down on her saying "That's my girl!". She, like Joshua, has been met on the battle field by the One that is capable of winning the war. They were met on the edge of their promised land by the God that has already delivered the land to them, and by the God that is still promising us today that He will never leave us or forsake us. It's His voice of truth that we are called to listen to. Tune your ears to His voice dear friend, He is telling you to march into your Jericho and "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!" Joshua 6:16. And then watch as your God does amazing things, for He has given you a front row seat to watch the walls of your Jericho tumble to the ground.