Welcome back! It has been a while since we continued on with Joshua. There has been much on my plate. If you’d like to catch up, please click here.
There are a couple of things that God says to the people of Israel. These are statements that we use today to remind ourselves of the great and powerful God that is our God as much as He was to those people that Joshua led thousands of years ago.
Let’s begin by looking at a well-known statement made by God in verse 5 of chapter 1:
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (NKJV).
I Will Never Leave You!
This we can own. That same magnificent God that led these people from bondage leads us from bondage today! In truth, it is a beautiful thing to see this. To grab it and apply it to us now!
My most emphatic advice to every believer is to seek the Holy Spirit. I have written a number of blogs on the subject and shall continue. The Holy Spirit is our Guide. Without Him, we can easily flounder and not know what God is trying to show us and teach us.
Because of the grace Christ brought to us, much of the Old Testament does not directly apply to us. Specifically in areas of the Law. Now I won’t get off subject to explain all of it, but suffice to say that much of the Old Testament DOES STILL apply to us. The Holy Spirit will “guide us into all truth” in this matter (John 16:13, NKJV).
The statement “I will not leave you or forsake you” is in more than just this passage. It is stated in Deuteronomy three times in various formats (v. 4:31; 31:6; 31:8). And then we find it in Hebrews 13:5 as well.
Then Jesus essentially says the same thing in Matthew 28. As He is saying a farewell to the disciples, He declares this: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20, NKJV). Any time something is repeated in this manner in both Old and New testaments, it is being emphasized for a purpose. He will not forsake us!
From the time that Joshua was leading the people into places they didn’t understand and feared to this second that you are reading along, He is with His people. And fear not. Though in the Old Testament times, the Hebrew Nation was “His people,” now we are His people (1 Pet. 2:10). He is with us.
What does that mean? To have God with us always?
How Goes The War?
As I blogged about the Holy Spirit in my other series, God’s presence fills many roles. Like Israel was for much of the Old Testament, we as God’s people are in a war. But we do not battle with swords and spears as they did; we battle with prayer and spiritual actions. Our enemy is not the people of this world but the enemy of our spirits (Eph. 6:12). And we take the fight to him.
In a way, God exists in our war as the General. He is in command. Jesus plays the part of our Company Commander, if you will. And the Holy Spirit is like the Squad Leader that brings direction and orders to us.
Now, since these Three are One (the Trinity), in a very real sense, no matter where we are in the fight, God is there. That is one of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. No matter where we are, God’s presence is…present! So in this battle with the enemy (or whatever we are dealing with), we are not fighting it alone.
But our lives are not just a battlefront with the enemy. It is much more than that. We know from these passages that God is present in our day-to-day life. In America, that life might be as simple as getting up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, watching a little TV, and then going off to bed to repeat it tomorrow.
It may be far more complicated. Or even far more simple. Across the globe, there are thousands of different cultures and thousands of different life-styles that may have a simple, straight row to hoe most days. Or the most crooked furrow imaginable. What the Word is saying is that, no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing…no matter what kind of life you have, He is there with you.
When you are juggling kids, a shopping cart, demanding texts from the hubby, and hoping you have the funds to pay for the groceries…He’s there.
When your boss has announced that the entire system you just completed is now obsolete…He is there.
When you’re late to the most important meeting of your life because of the actions of someone else and you find yourself on the side of the road getting a speeding ticket…He’s there.
When the world is falling apart and we watch our brave soldiers fighting for their lives…He’s there.
God has been present with us in the flesh as Jesus. But since Eden, He has mostly been with us in the form of the Spirit (with a few exceptions). The Holy Spirit. That is why it is so important to seek more of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Knowing that God is present in our hurts and trials makes all the difference in our hurts and trials. But it is also vital to know that He is present during our promotions and raises. When things are truly going our way, He will be there. Sometimes, we need to remember that He is not a God of just the difficulties. He loves to be with us always.
As Jesus said so long to the disciples, He also pointed out that the “Comforter” would come to take His place. It was impossible for Jesus to be everywhere while in the flesh. But the extension of God/Jesus was a Spirit and would bring the presence of Jesus to any that would open up to Him. So His departing promise was for the Holy Spirit to come. In this way, the promise made clear back in the Book of Joshua that God would always be present could always be fulfilled.
Featured Image By Jake Melara