"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord God will be with you wherever you go."
God was motivating Joshua beforehand, because He wanted him to be prepared, mentally and emotionally, to face the different challenges he had to take on. Athletes require extra oxygen to advance in the last stretch of the race. I believe that any person, especially those who are in leadership, must make an extra effort so they do not abandon the race before time.
King Solomon strayed in his heart and worshipped other gods in the last stretch of his race. Jesus did something very different; in the last stretch of His race, He asked the Father if it were possible to pass this bitter cup from Him. However, He added that not His will be done, rather the will of the Father. This is when an angel from heaven descended to strengthen Him. Later, hanging on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus was able to say, “It is finished,” because His work was fulfilled at that moment. At the end of his life, Paul said he was about to be sacrificed and that the time of his parting was approaching. He had the assurance of having fought the good fight, of finishing the race and having kept the faith. He had the full certainty that the Lord, the just Judge, had a crown of righteousness for him, which would be given to him on that day, and not only him, but also to all who love Christ’s second coming. The last instructions the Apostle Peter gave Christians was that they should guard themselves from the error of the wicked and from falling from their faith. He encouraged them to grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. James closes his epistle by saying, “Remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).
To go through the Jordan for the Israelites meant leaving behind the desert and taking possession of the Promised Land. For us, it means leaving behind our achievements or failures and to start developing ourselves in that which God wants us to do. This implies renewing our minds and possessing His promises. When we know that God is in the situation, we should strive and make the first step, trusting that the rest will be added unto us.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Four thousand people seated, the meeting was about to begin. Everything was in its place; you could sense that behind it all there had been tears, effort, prayers, and much work. When I asked the pastor how he had achieved it, he told me, “Pastor Cesar, I learned everything by reading your books, giving me vision and faith to believe God, and that if you were able to do it, so could I.” This pastor’s church building is located in the most prominent part of the city and he built it in the most visible place he could. In just four years he was able, not only to finish the physical construction, but also to build together as committed members a great number of people that he could really rely on.
"I am courageous, and I have valor. I will reach the end of the race because my eyes remain on the prize."
Today's post is an excerpt from Pastor Cesar Castellanos' book, Declarations of Power for 365 Days of the Year: Volume Three.
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: Ezra 7; Proverbs 5
- New Testament: Luke 14:15-24; 1 Timothy 3:11-16