Are you about to do something you’ve never done before? Are you in pursuit of the dream in your heart, but are unsure of the outcome? Does the idea of doing something new and different intimidate you?
Whatever new thing you may be embarking on, God is reminding you that your strength and courage isn’t in you, your abilities, or what you think of yourself. Your strength and courage is in the God Who Goes Before You!
I've tried new things that didn't work out. I've been rejected in my pursuit to achieve the unachievable, intimidating, impossible, unlikely and scary big dreams in my heart. My guess, is that you have too. It would be great to have all the courage we need to push through and encounter the things that scare us most. To never be afraid and to have absolute certainty that everything would work out perfectly because we have stirred up within ourselves the ability to be brave, strong, and courageous because of who we are. But courage isn't birthed or found in our own ability.
In Exodus you can read about God delivering the Israelites from Egypt. The LORD promised the people of Israel that He would bring them, "up from the misery of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites- a land flowing with milk and honey"(Exodus 3:17). The first generation missed their opportunity because they did not put their faith and confidence in God to go before them. Their faith and courage was in direct correlation to the way they viewed themselves and resulted in their lack of success. Fast forward 40 years, and a new generation is about to cross the Jordan to take possession of the land God promised to give to Abraham and his descendants as an inheritance.
This new generation spent the last 40 years traversing the wilderness and knew nothing other than their nomadic lifestyle. They had never settled in one place permanently. And for most of them, a transient lifestyle was all they knew until this point. So imagine how they must have felt when their leader Moses was promoting someone else to take his place and to lead the millions of them into a land they had never entered. A land which was already occupied by a people rather large in stature. (Read Numbers 13 -14 for the details.)
But God encouraged the people of Israel and their newly commissioned leader, Joshua, to be strong and be courageous because He was with them.
But the Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy the nations living there, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua will lead you across the river, just as the Lord promised. - Deuteronomy 31:3 NLT
God's command to be courageous and strong was paired with His promise to go before them and be with them. The Israelites could be fully confident because of God. Because of who He said He is and what He promised He would do.
Not because their situation wasn’t all that bad. Not because they themselves possessed some special hidden powers. Not because the Canaanites were cowardly and would easily give in. Not because their imagination was making things seem worse than they actually were.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
If you don’t know anything else about God, know that when He says something, it is and will always be.
So just like the Israelites, you may be apart of a new generation doing a brand new thing. You may be:
Going to college
Starting a business
Going on an interview
Going an a date
Hanging out with new people
Moving to a new city
Taking that class for personal/business development
Speaking up for yourself
Reconciling and making amends
Something that you have never done before
Trying again when the last time didn't work out
Whatever new thing you may be embarking on, the “land” you are going into to possess, may be intimidating and scary, or it could be better than you thought. That doesn’t really matter. Your strength and courage is not in your perception of the outcome or your own strength and ability. Your courage and success is in His promise and His presence!
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” - Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT
Exist and operate in strength and courage because GOD is with you!