He Goes Before Us

Let's move courageously, not because of our own might, but because we follow Him as He goes before us.

jelleke-vanooteghem-336956-unsplash.jpg

// "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.  The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” -Deuteronomy 31:6-8 //

This was one of the most beautiful pieces I've read during my study time in the past month.  The repetition of being courages and not being discouraged boldly stood out to me, a reminder that we do not have a spirit of fear.

But I don't feel that courageous, if I'm being honest.  I feel more like a hot mess, stumbling through life like Bambi on ice, clinging to Jesus and letting the chips fall where they fall.

That, I realized, comes from a mindset that isn't focused on Jesus as the one who leads me.

We see in this passage, along with so many others geared towards Joshua, that he was to have courage BECAUSE God was going before Him.  Our God was right there with Him, calling the shots, never leaving him, never forsaking him from the promises He gave.

The courage wasn't rooted in himself, it was rooted in who God was (and still is) and that he had an intimate relationship with the living God.

And that same living God leads us. He is leading you. That doesn't mean to jump and test God to catch you or bless it if it isn't what He has called you to. We have courage when we follow God, not when we do it of our own efforts.

How do we get courage? Only from God. When God keeps telling Joshua to be of courage, including 4 times in the opening of the book of Joshua, He does with the attachment that He is going before Him.

We don't have blind courage. We have courage from walking obediently.

When we need that nudge it's usually because we are trying to walk to the left or right or run in front of God. We want it now. But we have to be still and follow Him. That's why Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. We wish we could walk with God as a tangible cloud and fire like in Exodus, but now we have just as strong of a representation from the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and guides us moment by moment.

So will you have courage to follow?

Michael Tatonetti