“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
I remember when I first had the thought I want to say yes to God, but I am afraid of __________________. I had my journal, my favorite pen and a cup of coffee, of course, and was determined to write whatever answer came to mind. I didn’t want to edit the fears of my heart but rather acknowledge them.
What shocked me was there were so many answers for that fill-in-the-blank — and I had thought I didn’t struggle with fear.
Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of hearing God wrong.
I wondered if I was alone, so I asked other women on social media, and the responses came pouring in: Fear of hoping in the goodness of God and the outcomes of God. Fear of not being equipped. The list could go on and on.
That’s why I love that when Joshua was about to step into the leadership journey of his lifetime, God spoke to him about fear: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
I don’t believe God was pointing His finger and condemning the fear in Joshua. God knew Joshua would be afraid, so He encouraged him with this truth: The God who created him was with him.
During that prayer time, I sensed the Lord asking me to place my yes before Him — to move from “fear stops” to “faith steps.”
I pictured myself writing the word “yes” and placing it before Him. Putting my yes on the table.
Yes is a surrender, a faith step. And it takes us into the promised land God has planned for us.
Promised-land living is a life of following Him. It is obedience to Him and following the path marked out by Him.
One week, while serving as a camp counselor, I once had to sleep in the chapel’s basement due to an overcrowded camp. The seventh-grade girls and I settled into our sleeping bags and quickly realized camel crickets surrounded us.
The more of them we saw, the more the beady-eyed crickets started to look like giants. Because they began to look like giants, we forgot we were bigger than them.
When the Israelites went to spy on the promised land in Numbers 13, they saw giants in the land. Because they saw giants, they began to see themselves as grasshoppers. (Numbers 13:33) Those who had gone to spy out the land quickly forgot who had promised to give them the land.
What are the giants in your land that can make you afraid to say “yes” to God?
My fear of failure can feel like a giant. It can make me want to shrink back and hide. But as God was with Joshua, He is with me. He is with you.
The people-pleaser in me hates to go to the eye doctor. When the doctor places the gadget up to my eyes and asks me to look at the different lenses and say which is better or best, I feel he or she has an answer of which lens is supposed to make me see better.
What if I imagine God sitting in the eye doctor’s chair and asking me what I see through my lens of fear? Then what if He switched it to a lens of faith?
What if I look into His eyes and let Him see mine?
Psalm 34:5 tells me that when I look to Him I am radiant, and my face will never be put to shame. The verse right before tells me He can deliver me from all of my fears.
Today, let’s find courage by looking at Jesus and by allowing Him to switch our gaze from the lens of fear to the lens of faith.
We can say “yes” to God because we can trust God.
God, thank You that I can say “yes” to You because I can trust You. I admit I have some fears of saying yes. Change my lens of fear to a lens of faith so that I can walk in obedience to the plans You have for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.