And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
This promise was given to the Israelites as God transitioned them from the leadership of Moses to the leadership of Joshua. He was planning to take the Israelites from the wilderness into the Promise Land. God knew, as well as the people, that there was a battle to be fought because the land He gave them was occupied. Joshua knew the last time God brought them to this place, fear took hold and the Israelites backed down, spending forty years wandering in the wilderness.
For Joshua and Caleb the land and what lay ahead was known, but still stepping into that leadership role that had to be hard. If Moses couldn’t do it, how could Joshua be expected to? But the Lord was going before them. He promised He would not fail. He wasn’t going to leave them. In that, Joshua could trust; for forty year Joshua and Caleb had seen Him do it. For forty years, God went before them as a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. Despite the obstacles from themselves and others, God had not failed to bring them back to the Promised Land. God didn’t forsake them despite the grumbling and complaining of the Israelites. So God said “Don’t Fear.” He was once again telling Joshua “Have courage, don’t be dismayed.”
Here is the thing, God is with us on our journey too! He has already went before us. He has prepared our way. He has brought us this far to fail. There is a popular Christian song that I love, but it drives we crazy at the same time. The song says “Yet” after declaring, “You’ve never failed me.” I don’t believe their heart is waiting on God to fail them; the word just sits wrong with me. I don’t feel like it would strike confidence in my husband if I said to him “You’ve never cheated on me, yet.” God will not fail us, ever. If He brings us to it, He will bring us through it.
If your like me, you immediately think “I know I messed up, and I am now somewhere I don’t believe that God ever intended for me to be.” He still is not going to fail you. He can and will use it for His glory and honor when He brings you though it. He doesn’t forsake or abandon us when we go our own way. He is right there waiting on us to look back to Him so He can get us back on His path for our life. He is faithful even when we are not.
Learning not to fear or be dismayed is something I still struggle with at times. I vacillate between fear of failure and fear of success depending on the day, this leads me to dismay. My pride fears failure and my insecurities fear success. My pride doesn’t want me to fail and make myself and God look bad. My insecurities say if I succeed, I might make it all about me, when I know it is only God.
In my dismay, I don’t run or fight, I freeze, not moving at all; that is not where God wants me or any of His children. We are called to move forward with Him. We are called to follow in His footsteps and to move out in Him. I am still learning to let go of my pride and insecurities. I am learning, like Joshua to keep my trust in God and let Him determine the outcome. I know it worked for Joshua!
Prayer – Lord, thank you for the reminder that You go before me. You already know the path of where I am going and the outcome. I can trust you with the process. Help me to overcome my fear, pride and insecurity and to walk in boldness and obedience when You speak.