In The Will Of God… Conflict Is To Be Expected;

“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.” -{Joshua 1:9}

Note,Two Prong Attack – “Fear and Discouragement”

We often mistakenly believe that if we follow the Lord, everything will be fine, no conflict, a life of ease is to be expected. Indeed we can even “feel” entitled to a conflict free life! But not so! Ephesians 6 speaks of the spiritual warfare believers are in. Jesus says in the world we will have “trouble,” but to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. James speaks about “when  you encounter various trials,” not “If.” Trials are inevitable, but our responses are not! We choose how we respond, either His way or not. We do not have to yield to fear, or discouragement. Fear is a powerful emotion,  and like the spies who came back with their report, and refused to believe God, choosing rather to listen to the bad report by the spies. Fear won, for it was yielded to at the rejection of God and His promise of the land.

Fear when yielded to has the potential to make cowards out of us all;

Abraham yielded to fear and said his wife was his sister so not to be harmed, self-preservation his aim. He was willing do whatever it took to save himself even if it meant giving up his wife to another!”But God…” undertook for her and him in the matter. Fear and anxiety travel together as in Luke 12 and the goal to hinder from seeking first the Kingdom of God.The disciples in Acts were threatened  and the purpose to seek to make them fearful so they would not preach the Gospel. The LORD comforted Paul and told him not to be fearful any longer for He had more people in that area whom Paul would share the Gospel with. Peter due to the fear of others opinions even played the hypocrite… Fear when yielded to has the power to make cowards out of us all. And the evil one uses it! And where does it hit? Not your ankle or your elbow… but…your thought life! The Mind!

…Nehemiah knew of this two prong attack of “fear and discouragement,” while seeking to rebuild not only the walls but God’s people, when he said of those who opposed him from seeking to do God’s will, “They tried to make me fearful in order to discourage me that the work might stop!” -{Nehemiah 6:9}. The purpose of the two prong attack? “That the work might stop!” It is always the goal-Quit! “Throw in the towel!” So the attack is on the emotions, seeking to influence the will. “Fear” and “Discouragement,” been two of the evil one’s weapons! As it was with Joshua, Nehemiah so too you will be the target of such an attack! “But God…” He gave Joshua the command to “be strong, be courageous,” as he would need to be, so as he went into the unknown, to him, but with the assurance he would be Alone.  “For The Lord your  God IS  with you wherever you go!” It is important in times of testing you realize you are not alone!

Paul testified amidst conflict, “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.”-{ 2 Timothy 4:16}. For the sake of the Gospel Paul had been abandoned, forsaken, by “all.” No one supported him, no one stood with him! Yet Paul states in the midst of the conflict, the reality and assurance of the LORD GOD STANDING WITH HIM, “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth.” -{2 Timothy 4:17}. God stood with him, strengthened him for a purpose, that he might make the Gospel known! Paul knew His Presence with him. Paul knew the strength of Him who stood with him, and others heard the liberating Gospel!Jacob knew of His presence, ” When Jacob woke up, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was unaware of it.” -{Genesis 28:16}

 The Psalmist  knew His Presence and was in awe of His Omnipresence-, always present in all places at all times! “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,  Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”  Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. ” -{Psalm 139:7-12}

Joshua, Nehemiah, Jacob, The Psalmist and Paul all testified to the LORD’S Presence in the midst of conflict! We do not have to “feel” His presence to be assure He is present. We have His Word!

Conflict is real for the follower of Christ,”Fear and discouragement” are two of the evil one’s weapons, “But God…” Himself is our Provision, His Word{ v8}; His Promise, His Power, His Presence {v9}.

Joshua was given the command and instructions what Not to yield to, namely “fear and discouragement” as these two temptations would be real in the heat of the battle. He was commanded “be strong, be courageous,” for to do the will of God it would take courage and the assurance in the battle, that neither he nor you are alone,”For the LORD YOUR God is With YOU Wherever YOU Go.” It would be something both he and indeed you and I will need to remind ourselves of often.  Indeed we need to be Thinking on and Talking the truth to ourselves and applying it and rejoicing in Him, our Provider, The LORD who is GOD!

Conflict and Companionship!

He gives us assurance and ability in the conflict to go forward in the will of God with Courage, Confidence and His Companionship!

“The LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”