When we feel threatened, many of us seek places of safety, but Christ empowers us for courage and victory. While He fights our greatest battles, that’s not an invitation to retreat. Rather, we’re called to faith-filled, active obedience.
Consider the ancient Israelites during the time of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20). A vast and ferocious army was coming against them. Terrified, the king issued a nationwide fast and all the people came to seek God’s aid. While the king led them in a desperate yet faith-filled prayer, one man in the crowd spoke up. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army” he said. “For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15b). Notice, however, the people were to “march down against them,” “Take up [their] positions;” and “stand firm” (v. 17). Then, they would witness God’s deliverance.
We see a similar pattern of assurance, obedience, followed by God’s miraculous aid in Joshua 3. Through Joshua, God led His people into the fertile land long promised them. But first, they had to cross a raging river.
Scripture tells us: “So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground” (Joshua 3:14-17).
This passage says the people crossed during flood season, when the river would’ve been swollen with rushing waters. Scripture also tells us the water didn’t stop until the priests stepped into it. They needed to act on their faith and advance forward in courageous obedience. Once they did, the water stopped flowing and the entire nation was able to cross on dry ground.
As you steadily move forward despite your fear, may the following verses encourage you.
"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)
"Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)
We can respond to every challenge with bravery knowing Creator God, our protector, provider, and source of strength, always remains with us. He will give us everything we need to do all He asks.
(Listen to episode 15 of Jennifer’s Faith Over Fear podcast, found HERE, to learn ways to effectively battle against your fear.)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)
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