“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
The Israelites had wandered for many years knowing God's Promised Land waited. When it was just within their grasp, they just couldn't face the giants in order to get it. They sat for years knowing their blessing was just within reach. But they also knew that they would have to fight for their promise. It would not just be handed to them on a silver platter. But they were afraid of the cost.
Does this sound like us? We can see the promise of our vision, but we just can't make the commitment to reach for it because of the fear of what it will cost us. It might cost money or time or work. But that is not the most important cost. It will cost faith. That is the payment that is required. We want the promise, but we don’t want to face the giant of our own fear. Blessings require obedience and commitment, and stepping out on faith.
God told His people then, and He tells us now, to be strong and courageous, to be obedient and committed. Know the Word. Fill your mind and heart with its promise and the strength that it brings to receive His promise. Do not be afraid, and never be discouraged. Reach out and make the commitment that is needed to receive His promise. Disillusionment and discouragement will vanish with commitment to Him.
Our pastor has a vision for our church. It is one of great promise. Caleb was one the spies sent to calculate the cost in facing the giants in the Promised Land. He returned to the Israelites and told them “Let’s roll!” But nobody rolled. The fear was too great. Years would pass before the Israelites would face their fears and claim their promise. When they finally mustered the faith to claim their vision, Caleb then received his promise of Hebron. The lack of vision and faith of the Israelites held back the promise of Caleb’s blessing. Does our lack of faith hold back our pastor’s vision and promise for our church? If we don’t roll with the vision He has received from God, it does. Our pastor will one day, just like Caleb, receive His promise because of His faithfulness. If we don’t support the vision he has cast, what we will receive for the lack of ours?
"Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!” Todd Beamer cried out that Tuesday in September as members of flight 93 stood ready to advance against the greatest of odds. That's how Todd Beamer lived, and that is how he died. He gave his life so others might live. He gave his life for that vision.
Our Lord gave everything for us. How can we not return the favor?