Joshua 1:6-9

"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Thinking about this passage, together with yesterday's one, I kinda started thinking that before every leader takes up leadership role, he needs to know that he needs to have God's presence with Him for everything that he will do in God's Kingdom. God, in this passage, encouraged Joshua to be strong and very courageous. Likewise, today, He is calling all people in His kingdom to be strong and courageous. That as we obey Him, He assures us of His very presence in our lives.

God's promise that He will never forsake us is an important promise to all Christians, especially leaders. I understand this from the short two years serving as a careleader in church. It is easy to be discouraged while serving as a leader in church. People are not necessarily easy to lead. Different people have different needs to be met, and different issues to be settled. Sometimes things do not move a we wanted them to be. Sometimes, we are doing God's work but things are not going right. It may be the case that we are doing God's work but we are not with God. It may be the case that it is a period of molding and refining for us. But in all senses, it is easy to give up.

It does not necessarily apply to leaders as well. Christians, a lot of times, face discouragement and persecution all over the place. It is easy to give up, when your parents started to comment that you are doing senseless things in church. It is easy to give up when you dun see that you are not growing as well as you think you ought to. It is easy to give up when you find yourselves in a new cg or a new ministry, reestablishing new relationship again. It is easy to give up as things piled up and people tell you that your work is more important than your ministry.

It is here that God's assurance that He will never forsake us has to keep us going. It is not just blind faith, but the faith that His promise is everlasting and applies as much to Joshua as to us. When we feel that God is no longer with us, it is time that we might wanna come back and think about it. God is with us, but a lot of times, it may boil down to our personal relationship with Him. But when we stand firm in all discouragements and persecutions, we are telling the world that we believe that He is with us and no weapon forged against us can never triumph against us.

Yet all these have to be preceded by obedience to Him and I dun see any contradiction to this. Ezekiel recorded the departure of God's glory from the temple as a result of Israel's disobedience and hardened heart. When we stop obeying God and His word, we begin to see consequences in our lives, including the fact that God is unable to work in our lives. We start to draw away from God. So I think this point is very important for us if we want to continue to serve God. Continue to meditate on them and act upon them.

Indeed, following Jesus needs us to be strong and courageous. It is not easy. He says that we need to deny ourselves and take up our cross. We need to pray for the strength and courage. Pray for it. It's either Jesus or the world and Mr Tan....

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