Faith is an interesting substance. You don’t get it by sitting in a Bible study group. You don’t get it by just talking about it. You don’t get it by just thinking, hoping, or wishing.
Faith is like a muscle. You develop it more by using it more. The more you use a muscle, the stronger it gets. The more you use the little faith you have, the more it gets stretched. The more it gets stretched, the more God blesses your life.
Just ask Joshua.
Joshua 1 tells the story of his installment as the leader of Israel. God had given Joshua the impossible task of possessing the Promised Land. As you know, the rest of the book tells the story of Joshua leading God’s people to do exactly that.
I don’t know what God has called you to do through your ministry, but I know he is leading you to a step of faith that feels just as impossible as Joshua’s.
But I also know this: Your ministry will never please God if you don’t take risks.
The Bible says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
The good news is that God is faithful. The Bible teaches that when we trust God and depend on his promises, we experience great benefits.
In Joshua 1, God gives us four promises that we can lean on as we step out in faith to follow Jesus.
- God promises us power. “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you” (Joshua 1:5 NIV). God told Joshua that he would be invincible. Nothing will stop us either if we’re conscious of God’s power within us.
- God promises us protection. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 NIV). Nothing can harm us because God will be with us wherever we go.
- God promises us prosperity. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7 NIV). The success God promises doesn’t mean you’ll someday lead a mega-church if you study and obey his Word. Prosperity means that you’re being all that God wants you to be, using the talents he gave you.
- God guarantees his presence. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 NIV). That’s quite a guarantee. Choosing to trust in God has consistently provided me with a new sense of his presence during times of loneliness as a leader.
But notice that God promises all of this with a condition. He says, “Be careful to observe all the law my servant Moses gave you” (Joshua 1:7 NIV). If we want God’s power, we don’t get the option of picking and choosing the rules we like and throwing out the rest.
You see that all throughout the life of Joshua. He obeyed God in faith, and God blessed him. In fact, Joshua 24:15—which tells about Joshua near the end of his life—perfectly encapsulates the life of faith he pursued:
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (NIV).
God gives his power to the people that demonstrate the kind of faith Joshua did. No matter what risk God is calling you to take, he stands ready and willing to give you his power, protection, prosperity, and presence.
Are you ready to step out in faith?