I was reading my bible last night in the book of Joshua and a couple of verses just stuck out to me, they kept me engaged in conversation with God and I am still pondering them this morning. When the promised land was being divided and the tribe of Manasseh was receiving their allotment it says that they were unable to occupy some towns because the Canaanites were determined to stay in that region. It also says that they asked Joshua to give them a couple of other cities because the Canaanites were to powerful and they had iron chariots. Joshua gave them two other cities as well but also told them that they were strong enough to crush the Canaanites.
I remember the promise that God made to the Israelites before they crossed the Jordan river. God promised them that no one would be able to stand against them for God was with them. God said I will not fail you or abandon you. Then again Joshua reminds them that they are strong enough to battle the Canaanites. Yet they failed to ever remove them from the land. I wonder what caused them to have a lack of courage and to doubt that they could take the land that they were given. So different from the way Caleb responded at 80 years old as he took the hill country where the descendants of Anak lived.
God gave them a promise of rich and abundant lands. Then they went to battle and destroyed 37 kings and conquered the land. They saw first hand that God was with them as long as they worshiped only the true God. Yet even after that promise from their provider and Father above, they failed to follow through. After everything that they witnessed in the wilderness, the crossing of the Jordan and then the battles that entailed. It made me wonder what caused them to lack faith and confidence or the courage to do what God had promised them. As I thought about this and talked to God about this I began to think about the promises that God has given all of us. That we are children of God, that he is our provider and protector. Yet many of us fall short in grasping and reaching for those promises. I even began to think about the promises that God has given me.
I began to realize that it really always comes down to who are you going to believe. The promises that God has made to you or the lies that cause fear and doubt. Are you going to cower in fear because you think that there is no way things can work out. It is alright to admit that we let fear control us at times it happens to the best of us. I have spent a good part of my life believing things that were not what God was saying. But I was weak and I was not weighing it against what God says. Even now as I am stronger in my walk and relationship with God fear can try to come in. But now I recognize it and stop it in its tracks. It is easier to stop the fear when it is small. For fear can morph and make it look like something is bigger than God, and we can begin to believe God is powerless. That is when anxiety and panic can set in.
When you are facing that giant in your life, stand tall and strong like David did against Goliath. Cast your stone at the giant and watch the giant fall when you declare who God is and how powerful God Almighty is. This is easier when you are in relationship with the Lord. Just like David even in his darkest moments he would tell the Lord how he felt and how overwhelmed he was but then he always finished declaring the goodness of God and what God would do. This is what happens when you are in relationship versus just having religion. You automatically go to the Father to see what he says about what you are facing. You look at the pit of despair and you say no my God is greater than that, God did not give me a spirit of fear.
When you are in relationship with Father God, then you listen to what he has to say. You ponder and apply his promises to your heart where he resides in you. The word is where you weigh the things that are on your heart to see if they align with God or with the enemy. But if you just listen to the lies of the enemy then you start to react like the Israelites and you think I can’t. We have a God that says you can in the face of the biggest or darkest struggles of your life.
I encourage you to take some time and get to know Father God and Lord Jesus. Ask them what the truth and promise is for today and for tomorrow. Remember when God is for you, who can be against you. There is no problem in this world that is too great for God. The things that each of us face in life are nothing to Father God. God is the great creator and he cares about every one of you. God cares about the things you are struggling with. We have a big, big God and he is more powerful than anything that we face. Call on the name above all names Jesus. Spend time in the word so you know who God really is and you know the truth of what God says about you.