” … Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving …” (Joshua 1:1)
Standing on the banks of the Jordan, I look across to the other side, gazing at my “promised land.”
Perhaps you’ve been here, too. You’ve been given a vision. And you’re waiting to see your dream become a reality.
I remember the years that I spent wandering through the wilderness on the road to publication, wrestling with my doubt, fear, and unbelief. I recall the first time that I considered writing a book. It seemed impossible, doubting that I would ever see my dream fulfilled. Now, I find myself on the shore, looking across to my promised land.
But wait! How can I navigate the rough waters in front of me? The manuscript deadline? The marketing? The on-going platform challenges? What other obstacles will I face as I try to ford the river to my promised land?
I sense the enemy of my soul preparing for another onslaught of roadblocks and dead ends.
Lord, help me!
I inhale slowly—one, two, three, four. Then, I exhale, counting to seven. I inhale again, counting to eight. As I repeat this focused breathing, trying to avoid another panic attack, I relax.
An encouraging promise from God’s Word dispels my fears, “I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous …” (Josh. 1:5-6 NIV).
When I read through this passage, Joshua affirms the promise of the Lord’s presence. He also repeats an exhortation: “Be strong and very courageous.”
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 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. (7-9)
Joshua calls attention to four powerful strategies for claiming our promised land.
- Obey God’s Word. After the Lord assured Joshua of His faithful presence, He also instructed him to warn the people of the importance of obeying everything He had commanded them to do.
- Meditate on God’s Promises. The LORD also reminded Joshua of the importance of lifting up His Word—meditating on His truths and confessing His promises day and night.
- Surrender fears to God. The LORD instructs Joshua to encourage the people to surrender their fears and discouragement to Him, promising to always be with them.
- Prepare for battle. As I look across the deep waters of the Jordan into my promised land, I read another warning about impending warfare.
Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own … the Lord your God will give you rest … but get ready for battle … (11-14).
Will I still have battles in my promised land of rest? I think this scripture gives me a clear answer to this question.
We must always be aware of our weaknesses, vulnerability, and dependence upon God. As Christian writers, we are called to lead others to claim God’s promised land, too.
So, get “ready for battle … You are to help them until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them” (14-15).
Are you prepared to claim your promised land?