Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I WILL strengthen you, surely I WILL help you, surely I WILL uphold you with My righteous right hand.
There are some people on this planet who are naturally blessed with the inner qualities of strength and courage. God made these people this way; fear (for the most part) is just not one of their struggles. In the popular Enneagram personality study, these would be the Eights of the world--these are the challengers, the go-getters, the movers and the shakers. My husband happens to be one of these fascinating people. Since I prefer a slower, steady pace with minimal change, life with him for the past 29 years has been quite a ride, to say the least. My number on the Enneagram is Six, and the sixes biggest struggle is...you guessed it...FEAR.
Fear has been the single most contributing factor that the enemy has used in my life to keep me from being all that God has intended me to be, and from doing all that God has intended me to do. Thankfully, I am able to recognize the lies of the enemy more readily now. For example, in this particular place of Soul Sisters ministry, one of my greatest fears is to mishandle the word of truth when I write my post, or I fear that I might pick Scriptures out of context in the FURTHER verses on each of the studies we do. The enemy would like to take this fear and grow it so that I become paralyzed and then choose to not lead at all. Not leading would be the safer way. It is the same with my motives. I fear my own heart, that it might displease the Lord when I make decisions of any kind, so the enemy tells me to hide or lay day my goals and ambitions, sorta like putting a lamp under a lamp stand or hiding a talent in the sand. Again, it's the safer path, but, it's dictated by fear rather than trusting the Lord that He knows my heart and guides my steps. Doesn't He tell us to put our lamp on the lamp stand and to multiply our talents? (Mark 4:21; Matt. 25:14-29).
Figuratively speaking, I've spent a lifetime jumping over the fear-hurdle; quite frankly, I don't think the hurdle itself will ever go away due to my personality make-up. HOWEVER, the more I am in the truth of the Word and the more I walk with the Spirit, the more I understand the lies of the enemy. The fear-hurdle is still there, but my God is bigger and stronger and greater. He takes me by the hand like a strong Father does a small toddler, and then He lifts me up and over to land on my feet and keep moving forward, with Him by my side. As my faith grows in the Lord, and when the next fear approaches, I can declare confidentiality, "By my God I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall" (Psalm 18:28-29).
Soul Sisters, whether we check out as an Enneagram Eight or not, we are ALL called to be movers and shakers for the kingdom of God. The Lord knows we experience fear, but that does not mean we should bow down to it. Our leap of faith in God can overcome our fear every time! In our reading today, Joshua is stepping into the mighty shoes of Moses who was his mentor and champion for over 40 years. God now turns to Joshua and plainly says, "Moses, My servant is dead, now therefore arise..." (Joshua 1:2). Moses had fulfilled his calling to his last breath and now it was Joshua's turn to get up and lead with strength and courage. Joshua too, lived his life in faithful obedience to the Lord. Now it's our turn to "arise". God says to us in His living word today, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9). Believe His command is for you personally; believe He holds you and helps you; believe He will use you mightily for His kingdom. He will do it because He said so.
FURTHER: Joshua 1:1-9; 1 Chronicles 28:9-11, 20; Psalm 68:35; Psalm 138:3
Thank You for Your promise that You are with us wherever we go. Cause each one of us today to grab hold of Your outstretched hand so we can leap over any hurdle of fear that is in our path. There are people on the other side of our timidity that need to hear the good news and be touched by the great love of Jesus. Please "make us bold with strength in our soul" (Psalm 138:3). I ask You to put one person on each of our hearts right now that You strongly desire "to move and to shake" into Your kingdom through Your power and Your glory in us. Fear must not win. It's our turn to arise. Help us to obey. In Your Name. Amen.