“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9 NLT
The last few months I’ve been praying for 2019 and asking God what He would say to us as a church leading into the new year. Every time I would pray He would take me to Joshua chapter 1 verse 9, where He doesn’t just tell Joshua to be strong and courageous but He actually commands it. He commands him to be full of strength and full of courage, not to be afraid or discouraged, and I feel like He is saying the same thing to Dream City Omaha as we step into the new year.
The word God gave me for this year was FEARLESS. As I’ve been contemplating that word over the last few months, it has given me a new level of excitement while equally freaking me out at the same time. I decided to check the dictionary to see what it had to say about “Fearless” and the entry was this:
Fearless: Adj; Without Fear
Without fear?! That’s all you’ve got for me? “THANK YOU VERY MUCH MS. LIPPY!” My apologies if you don’t get the Billy Madison reference. So what is fearless? That is what we will hope to uncover over the next 21 days but before we go to the “What” lets start with the “Why”.
Why do I need to be fearless? Why do you need to be fearless? I think it’s the very same reason why God had to come to Joshua and tell him to be fearless. He was getting ready to lead God’s people into a promise over 450 years in the making. For generations they had longed for the day, and here it was right in front of them. But it wouldn’t be easy.
Sometimes I think when God shows us something or gives us a little glimpse of where He’s taking us, we think He’s going to make it easy, and that’s not always the case. In fact it’s very rarely the case. See Joshua knew better than anyone the challenges that they would face. He was one of the original 12 spies who scouted out the land 40 years earlier.
Joshua had seen the giants, the walls, the armies. He knew what they would face, and God shows up and promises he wouldn’t be alone. God was calling him to something bigger than himself, and it would have been easy for him to get discouraged, or fearful.
I believe with every fiber of my being that God is calling us to something so much bigger than ourselves in 2019, not just as a church but as individuals as well. Something so big that if we could see it now we wouldn’t believe it. It’s so much bigger than one person, or even a group of people. I believe that what God wants to do this year will have a ripple effect in our city, not just in our lifetime but in our children’s and our grandchildren’s. But it won’t be easy. It won’t be without obstacles. It won’t be without walls or giants.
He will be with us, but it will require us to be FEARLESS.
Lord, you tell us to be strong and courageous in your Word. And just as it was with Joshua, we believe that you’re preparing us for something immense, something beyond our own selves, something that will not be easy. Help us to embrace being strong, being courageous. Help us to know You are here, but help us to embrace being fearless. In Jesus name, amen!