When I read Joshua 1:9 in isolation, God came across as demanding. “Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 GNT
But things are not always how they appear to be.
When you read the preceding eight (8) verses, you will see that God is giving Joshua the pep talk of his life!
Moses, his leader, has just died and God has told him that it is time to step up. He, Joshua, was going to lead the Israelites into Canaan.
Can you imagine the pressure? 40 years of wandering, and the time was finally here.
But God does not leave Joshua to figure this out on his own.
No doubt the devil was filling his mind with thoughts of doubt and insecurity, but God, as any good coach would, gives Joshua instructions.
He runs through the playbook with him.
He tells him, “You CAN do this! I’ve got your back!”
“Joshua, no one will be able to defeat you as long as you live. I will be with you as I was with Moses…” Joshua 1:5 GNT
And He is saying the same to us today.
God does not leave us to figure life out on our own. He provides the playbook, His Word. But it is up to us to follow it.
God told Joshua, “Just be determined, be confident; and make sure that you obey the whole Law that my servant Moses gave you. Do not neglect any part of it and you will succeed wherever you go. Be sure that the book of the Law is always read in your worship. Study it day and night, and make sure that you obey everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:7-8 GNT
In the remaining verses of the chapter we find Joshua confidently organizing the people for the crossing; he obviously chose to listen to his coach.