Transitions are hard. I can imagine the fear and trepidation that filled the heart of Joshua as he prepared to take over for Moses as the leader of Israel. Moses was the only leader this people had known. He had led their ancestors out of Egypt. He had led their parents to the promised land. He had led them through the wilderness. And now he was passing that mantle of leadership to Joshua.
In addition to becoming a new leader, Joshua also had been given a new task. He was to lead this generation of people into the promised land. These things were certainly enough to make the most stout heart beat a little faster.
As Moses exits the stage, he gives Joshua some final instructions. In Deuteronomy 31, he tells him to be strong and courageous (Deuteronomy 31:6). We know Joshua will repeat this command several times as he leads the people (Joshua 1). What struck me anew today as I read these words was why Joshua need not fear. God would go with him. As a matter of fact, Moses states that fact twice to make sure Joshua grasps it in his head and his heart (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8).
Fast forward with me to a conversation Jesus has with his disciples after the resurrection. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gives the disciples (and us) what we call the Great Commission. It’s the call to go and make disciples of all people. And, at the end of that call, there is a promise – “I am with you always until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
In that sentence is the same promise that was made to Joshua. It’s a promise of the presence and the power of God as we walk with Him. The promise made to Joshua…the promise made to the disciples…is the same promise made to us. We need not fear as we walk with the Lord. We need not fear the new directions and the new challenges and all the transitions that come with life. We have no need to be anxious as we walk into the unknown. Why? Because we are not alone. The Lord is with us. His rod and His staff comfort us (Psalm 23:4). He will not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
So, fear not. Be strong and courageous. Do what God has called you to do. Seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Go and make disciples. Live in hope and walk in complete obedience to him. You have nothing to fear for you are not alone.