Do Not Be Afraid! The Freedom of God’s Promises and Presence

We read in Joshua 10:42 that Joshua and his army had defeated all the kings and their lands in one campaign because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. It’s a beautiful and awe-inspiring story that plays out through the entirety of chapter 10, a sequel to the preceding chapters of the book and a set-up for what happens in chapter 11. 

All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.  Joshua 10:42

Chapter 11 opens with King Jabin hearing of this and sending word to the kings throughout the land.  It tells of all the Kings joining forces, of their troops and a large number of horses and chariots – describing them as a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. Joshua gets wind of this and is once again reminded by God to not be afraid.

“Do not be afraid of them because by this time tomorrow I will hand them over to Israel, slain.” Joshua 11:6

Joshua trusted the LORD and called his army into battle once again. 

And the LORD gave them into the hands of Israel. Joshua 11:8

There is truly one amazing story after another in these chapters of Joshua where we read of God continually calling His people to not be afraid. Though they had plenty of reasons to fear He had commanded them to be strong and courageous. He also Infused them with the very courage He had commanded by promising His presence with them and often telling them what He would do for them.  

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Complying with the command meant trusting and obeying, but their obedience led to success in their battles and victory over their enemies just as God had promised. 

His call and promised victories are the same for us today. As His children, we are to be strong and courageous as we live in obedience to Him, infused with the promise that He is with us we are to stand firm in the battle,  and claim the victory promised in Jesus’ Name. 

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ . 1 Corinthians 15:57

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

As He told Joshua, He also tells us in Ephesians to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. He infuses us with courage by allowing and calling us to put on His full armor so that we can take our stand against the schemes of our enemy. He reminds us that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

I’m guessing He knew how terrifying that would sound because He follows it up with another reminder to put on His full armor, so that when the day of evil comes, we will be able to stand our ground. In addition to this promise He prepares us for the battle by teaching us about the armor: 

  • the belt of truth – buckled around your waist
  • the breastplate of righteousness – in place
  • feet fitted with the readiness – that comes from the gospel of peace
  • the shield of faith – with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one
  • the helmet of salvation
  • the sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God
  • and prayer in the Spirit – on all occasions with all kinds of prayers

There will be times that the battles and the enemy seems more than we can bear – perhaps – as with Joshua and his enemy, even “more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore” – but we are assured that He is with us wherever we go.

 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. … You know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

 This world is full of evil and it will call to us and seek to overcome us – for the enemy seeks to steel, kill and destroy – but we can live free of this fear because Christ has already won the battle – and God has given us the victory through Him!

You dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is living in you is greater than the one who is living in the world. 1 John 4:4

As God spoke to Joshua, He speaks to us through the the words of Christ … 

“… In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Me – from the Insideoutđź’•

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