We need “You can do it!” people in our lives. We need “You can do it!” ministries consistently feeding into us. We need a “You can do it!” God that we are believing in.
Joshua had this kind of God speaking into his life in Joshua 1 (one of my favorite Bible chapters). At the opening of the chapter, he is a new leader who has just been entrusted with his first big assignment. “The Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: ‘Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise over this Jordan…as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you’” (Joshua 1:1-2,5).
Joshua was strongly tempted to feel overwhelmed. Could he successfully complete his assignment to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land? The factors telling him it was unlikely were:
His mentor had just died – Moses was a powerful leader. His shoes seemed hard to fill, but more importantly, Joshua would not have Moses’ strength and wisdom to lean on in this momentous time.
He was a brand new senior leader for his “church” at probably the most crucial hour they had had – People were likely wondering, “Can the assistant leader really lead?” Joshua had to overcome being a victim to other people’s perceptions of him.
His congregation and leaders were young and inexperienced – All of the older generation had died with Moses. Only he and Caleb remained from the old guard.
He battled self-doubt – We can imply this by how many times God told him to be strong and courageous in Joshua 1.
We will all find ourselves in similar situations where the odds seem to be against us, but God still says, “You can do it!”
As it was with Joshua, we too are promised victory in seemingly difficult tasks. God’s promises set the basis for our victorious beliefs:
Knowing what God has already given us – “Go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to the children of Israel” (Joshua 1:2). Faith begins where the will of God is known. If we don’t know we have healing, power, protection, influence, or abundance, we won’t fight for them in faith.
Knowing we cannot be defeated – “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you” (Joshua 1:3). This confident expectancy creates a foundation for the “can do” mindset. We may suffer setbacks, but we cannot be conquered.
Knowing we have spiritual authority – “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life” (Joshua 1:5). The devil has been defeated and is afraid of us (Colossians 1:15; James 4:7).
Knowing God is with us – “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). He promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
As we focus on these truths, we increasingly believe that we can do whatever we are called to do, even if it seems impossible.
Three times in Joshua 1, God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous; the people tell him the same thing at the end of the chapter. Then, in verse eight, he is given a secret weapon to success and prosperity:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
God tells Joshua to start speaking truth. When we do this, everything changes. We cannot change our lives without changing how we talk. Powerful people consistently speak higher than their feelings and experience.
I remember when my granddaughter, Ellie, was about three years old. I had taken her to a park to have fun on the playground equipment. She was having so much fun and soon was walking on a very high walkway from one side of the jungle gym to the other. She was battling fear and I heard her talking to herself, saying, “I can do it! I can do it!” And you know what? She did!
Discouragement is when you run out of courage before the battle is over. We all face this feeling from time to time. We are, however, much less prone to embrace discouragement when we determine to position ourselves under ministries and people who steadily encourage us. Like the Lord models in Joshua’s story, encouragers remind us who we are, what we can do, and what we already have. Igniting Hope Ministries is committed to being a voice of encouragement like this for you, and God has anointed you, like Ellie and Joshua, to be the same in your own life to champion yourself, your family, your friends, your church, and beyond.
You can do it!
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.