Onward, Christian Soldiers
By Martha Noebel
God's words to Joshua exhort us, "No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you" (Joshua 1:5).
God is with us, just as he promised Joshua. Joshua found himself in a large place. He was asked to be the leader of the people of Israel. He did not know if he could do the job or not. He just knew God had asked him to stretch himself, to grow, to be obedient, and to trust Him in this new position of leadership.
It must have been a scary thought at first. He was now the one in charge of God's people. He had to follow behind in the footsteps of Moses, who had done an awesome job. Could he do it? Did he want to do it? God knew Joshua's concern. It showed in His repeated admonishing to “be strong and courageous" (See Joshua 1:6-9).
God also gave Joshua good instructions to go with the promise that God would give the people every place where they put their feet. Joshua was instructed to obey the law, to meditate on God's Word day and night, and to be strong and courageous. The Lord also told him, "Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (vs. 9b).
It sounds like God knew there would be those times when the enemy would be roaring in Joshua's ears with sounds of defeat. And it is like that today in the lives of Christians everywhere. We hear the negative words, we are frightened by terrible thoughts, and we feel overwhelmed. But God wants us to put aside all those feelings and thoughts. He wants us to speak His Words of truth and to trust in Him.
We want to be like David when he prayed this prayer:
"I have followed your commands, which have kept me from going along with cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you. I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. You save with your strength those who seek refuge from their enemies. Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings" (Psalm 17:4-8).
Like Joshua, David, and the great men and women of old, we are given the choice to follow the Words of the Lord and to succeed. Let us speak God's Words into our circumstances. Let's use them like a key to open the heavens and receive all God has promised. We will not let doubt and discouragement stop us from walking into our promised land.
Like the song of old, Onward, Christian Soldiers, we must fight the fight of faith. We are overcomers! God is with us!
Onward, Christian Soldiers,
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus,
Going on before!
Christ the royal Master,
Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
See His banners go!
—lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1865
All verses are taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
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