DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED

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“Haven’t I commanded you:  be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 CSB

I try not to use what I consider “overused” Scripture when I write.  There are so many more wonderful Scriptures than just John 3:16 and the 23rd Psalm.  Often times, those are the only Scripture people know, and that is wonderful, because they are good Scriptures that cover the basics.  But there is so much more wonderfulness beyond them in God’s word that draws you closer to Him as you find them, those are the Scriptures I try to use.  I want to help people go deeper with God, past the introduction, that’s all. I also readily admit, the “overused” Scriptures pack a punch, are easy to remember, and they are overused for a reason.  Joshua 1:9 is what I consider an overused Scripture, you hear it a lot, you see it a lot, it’s easy to use when counseling others. It’s a great Scripture. In fact, I think it is such a wonderful Scripture, there is no way we can do a month on fear and not use it.  Because here is the bottom line, if this is the only Scripture you remember from this entire month of October, it will never steer you wrong. Memorize it, meditate on it, share it with others, it’s easy to do.

The promise in today’s Scripture is to Joshua.  He was the leader of the Israelite’s after Moses died, God wanted him to lead them across the Jordan river.  In the very next verse, Joshua wastes no time and organizes the people to move. He believed God’s promise to him, he wanted to be wherever God wanted him to take him. And as Christ follower’s we should want the same for our lives.  I heard a Pastor recently that defined the substance of salvation as sharing God’s life. Being in a relationship with God means getting pulled into life, not pulled out of it. When bad things happen, God’s using it in your life to mold you into who He created you to be.  When good things happen in your life, He’s doing the same thing. The problem is, we want God to do what we want Him to do, not what He wants for us. If life is messy, God, pull me out of this mess. If things aren’t going the way we want, God give me my way. That’s the type of relationship we want with God, but it’s not the type of relationship He wants with us.  He wants a relationship that grows us into the best version of ourselves, the version He created us to be. Through our life experiences, good or bad, that is how we’ll get there.

Joshua didn’t let fear stop him from doing what God was asking him to do.  We shouldn’t either. Whatever nudge God is giving you to do, don’t let fear stop you.  Don’t let fear stop you from sending the text, writing the note, making the phone call. Whatever it is God is prompting you to do, be like Joshua, just do it.  He’ll take you places you never dreamed you would go. I can vouch for that.

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