C'mon, You've Got This
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As an aspiring athlete, I played sports throughout high school. Our coaches constantly encouraged us to lift weights to stay in shape and get stronger. They seemed to thrive on pushing us past our limitations. For them, torture seemed to come naturally! It was a common scene to hear teammates encouraging each other during repetitions. Statements like, “Let’s go,” “C’mon, 5 more,” “You’ve got this,” “Don’t give up,” and similar things were yelled to each other. In those moments, I was normally able to lift more than I could by myself because their encouragement gave me the strength to keep going.
I recently noticed something similar when reading the first chapter of Joshua. Many Christians are familiar with this chapter, especially 1:9. My wife and I even have it hanging up in our living room:
"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 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: 8-9 NIV, emphasis mine)
The time for the Israelites to cross the Jordan River and take possession of the Promised Land had come. Joshua, following the death of Moses, was now the leader of Israel. As the Lord had been with Moses, He promised to be with Joshua. He exhorts Joshua multiple times to “be strong and courageous,” and to meditate consistently on the Book of the Law.
Joshua takes the message to heart and commands his officers to prepare the Israelites to cross into Canaan. He also reminds the men of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh of the promise they made. These tribes had requested for their allotments of land to be on this side of the Jordan; yet they made a covenant to cross with the Israelites and conquer their enemies before returning to their families who would stay behind.
Once reminded, their reply to Joshua was one I don’t think I ever took note of before. They promised to support Joshua the same way they had supported Moses, saying:
Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!” (Joshua 1:18, emphasis mine)
Did you catch it? They spoke over Joshua the same thing that Yahweh had spoken over him, to “be strong and courageous.” In other words, “C’mon, you’ve got this!” God’s desire was that Joshua be filled with confidence to lead Israel to conquer the land He had promised them.
It is interesting that God made sure their response was recorded – He could have simply included what He said to Joshua, and that would have been more than enough. After all, if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) Yet God saw it as important that their encouragement to Joshua be included in the Scriptures.
Why? He delights in using others to be the voice of encouragement that we need to hear! We are all part of His body, and together we are stronger—we can go farther. While recognizing God’s voice through the Word and time in prayer is essential, many times He is also speaking through those around us. May our hearts be sensitive to His Spirit today to recognize when He is communicating to us this way!
Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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