Know: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Consider: “I’m confused and wracked by fear, convinced that these are my last few moments. Words spill out of my mouth but I can’t tell what I’m saying. Am I even talking aloud, or am I hearing my thoughts? [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][…] Then it dawns on me. I’m talking to God. The realization focuses my mind and for a second all confusion vanishes.”
This short passage is an account from a real combat scene. The soldier telling the story is about to face his enemy in an intense hand to hand combat scene. It happened in Fallujah in November 2004. Most of us will never have to experience this but we all have faced situations that are frightening, scary and paralyzing. Have you ever been confused and wracked by fear like the author? I know I have. The Webster dictionary tells us that fear is “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger”. It also says that fear is a “feeling of respect and wonder for something very powerful”.
In Joshua 1:9 above, Joshua was a soldier going out to fight real battles – one after another and the results were not going to be pretty. When fear paralyses you – from a danger real or imagined – remember God’s nearness. Psalm 23:4 says “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Press into the powerful assurance and very real promise that God is with His people. God is with us. God is with me.
Key Concept: [tweetthis]Remember God’s nearness because strength & courage come from the LORD! [/tweetthis]
This Week’s Faith-Over-Fear Challenge: When a situation is scary and you are paralyzed with fear, remember God’s nearness. Be in awe of His power and remind yourself that He is there with you. Be strong and courageous in the face of your fear because of God’s promises.
Questions for Discussing & Journaling:
1. Have you ever experienced a fear that left you unable to function properly?
2. How does the fear of God differ from the fear of danger?
3. How does remembering God’s nearness help fight worldly fears?
Continue Bible Memory & Daily Homework:
Day 1: Work on memorizing Joshua 1:9 and apply it to your life. Read Joshua 1:8-9 slowly and write the verse down in your journal. The command to be strong and courageous comes after another command in verse 8. What is it? Based on that, what is the source of our courage?
Day 2: Read Psalm 1:2; Deuteronomy 31:8 and Deuteronomy 29:9. What is the purpose of meditating on the law? What are the promised results? The enemies of a still mind and focused heart are noise, hurry and crowd. Can you identify some adversaries to a meditative heart in your life? Write them down in your journal and make a point to eliminate them.
Day 3: “This Book of the law shall not depart from your mouth” Joshua 1:8. Are you committed to memorizing God’s word? Are you reading your Bible daily? Read Psalm 1 and use it as your prayer today.
Day 4: God told Joshua to be careful to do “everything in it”, meaning obeying the whole law. Do you pick and choose the verses you choose to apply to your life or do you follow all of God’s commands? What would happen if you were to bake a cake and omitted adding the eggs because you did not feel like cracking an egg today? What would happen if a soldier went to battle carrying his weapon but left the ammunition behind?
Day 5: Meditate on Job 28:28 today. Let the words come to life and fill your soul. Record any insight you receive from God in your journal.
Creative Component (Pin it!): Don’t wait until Christmas to remember Emmanuel “God with us.” Have a party to celebrate God’s nearness as a way of making a big deal out of a big truth and fixing it’s truth in your brain (and don’t forget the eggs!) Here’s a cake recipe everyone should have in their recipe file to get you started:
Basic Cake Recipe (adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; you can also line the bottoms with parchment paper. Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition. Divide batter between the prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Use any frosting you like, add chocolate or fresh fruits if you want. Bon Appetit!
Submitted by Muriel Gregory.
Chime in and comment below: Job 28:28 tells us that “the fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding” (NLT Emphasis mine). If you are searching for wisdom, you will find God and fear Him. How does the fear of God, trusting and obeying Him, help you cast away any other fears?