Two friends sat down with me yesterday to talk about an exciting opportunity they want me to consider. Everything in me wanted to cover my ears while they were talking. Honestly, I think they are crazy. Even as I write this, I am reminded of how crazy my friends are and I am wondering if maybe I should find some new people to do life with. But I don’t want fear to keep me from what God may have in store, so I’m trying with all my might to stay open and curious.
You see, one thing I’ve noticed is fear can have a big impact in our lives. It can push us away from where God wants us to be. It can keep us from living wholeheartedly. It kills vulnerability and crushes curiosity. It pushes us into hiding and creates cautious, combative and controlling people.
Fear is never far from people who are following Jesus. After all, we are called into a relationship with a living God who is set on saving the world. So sometimes our marching orders are inexplicable, and unexplainable. Sometimes, they push us outside our comfort zone and only make sense in the context of following a living God.
Because of this, every time a crazy opportunity comes my way, I stop and reflect on the passage in the Bible where Joshua is tasked with leading God’s people. At that time God’s people numbered over a million and sometimes they were pleasant but at other times they were hard to manage. Additionally, Joshua wasn’t leading God’s people into a time of peace, he was leading them into a season of battle, hardship and suffering. So the task in front of Joshua was nothing short of scary.
It was at this time that God gave Joshua his commission: Be strong and very courageous.
This commission invited Joshua to be brave. To say yes to God’s plans. To live his life aware of God’s presence and power. To lean in to the story unfolding before him.
God’s commission to us is the same. You see God’s wants us to stand on the edge of what he is calling us to. He wants us to jump into the story unfolding before us. And yes it is scary, so he commissions us with these words: Be brave! Be very courageous! I am with you!
Remembering this doesn’t mean I am going to say yes to my crazy friends’ crazy idea, but it does help me to listen. It helps me stay open. It helps me stand on the edge with them and consider what if God has something crazy in store.
And if God does, his commission to be strong and courageous helps me lean in and be brave again.
So today remember God’s word to you: Be strong and very courageous!