Fight Fear: Speak God’s Words

The War’s Not Over

Then Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” Joshua 10:25

“Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage.They’re only words. But when the almighty God is behind them, they’re powerful.

Many times God had said those words to Joshua. Now Joshua spoke these words—backed by the promises of God—to his army. Before he died, Moses had told the people that God would go ahead of them into the land “like a devouring fire … not because of your righteousness or your integrity … but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Deuteronomy 9:3-5).

Joshua knew God would give the people victory if they trusted in God and not in their own strength. They’d learned that lesson at Ai. [1]

Joshua’s soldiers discovered that the five kings the army had been fighting fled to a cave. Joshua told his men to cover the entrance with large stones and set guards there while the army conquered the rest of Israel’s enemies (Joshua 10:18). The war was not over.

Later, Joshua brought out these kings. They were humiliated and then hanged; their bodies were thrown back into the cave with the entrance covered by the large stones. “Thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight,” Joshua told his army. Indeed, the Lord gave Joshua and his soldiers success as they took the cities as he had commanded them. “God fought for Israel” (Joshua 10:28-42).

Many times God has said these same words to us: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage.” Our war’s not over. In fact, the war’s intensifying. We’re fighting multiple human enemies (Romans 8:37-39) as well as spiritual enemies. Our weapons are not worldly ones, but they are mighty, bringing down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Can you believe that our weapons include words? We need to memorize and meditate on God’s promises documented in Scripture. Let them fill our heads and hearts. And then let us fill our mouths with these encouraging words to others fighting alongside us.

Who can you speak to with God’s words?

Dig Deeper

Read Joshua 10:28-42. Were all the Canaanites killed? Do you believe at least some of these people had faith in God? Why or why not?

Someday the war will be over, and all the enemies of God will be defeated. In fact, the outcome of the war has already been decided. What happened when Jesus died on the cross according to Colossians 2:15? How does this encourage you to keep fighting?

What is the last enemy to be defeated according to 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 and Revelation 20:12-14. Is your name written in the Book of Life?

Nancy J. Baker

[1] See Fight Fear: Be Strong and Courageous

This devotion is part of our “Do Not Be Afraid” series.

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