"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."
We have seen on the news that France was hit again by Islamic terrorism in it's southern city Nice, and attacked Jacques Hamel a priest in France. Germany has been hit four times this week, and Brussels last month police had exposed 40 people tied to terrorist plots, and witnessing the UK departing from the EU. Week after week it is continuing to happen that we wonder what is going on in our world. We can't grasp what the surviving victims of each attack are going through, and how the families that have lost loved ones are coping. We believers by God's grace have hope and faith to turn to and having the knowledge of what is really going is beyond flesh and blood. Ephesians 12:6 tells us, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." We know that the spiritual forces of evil are a very real thing in our world, but we have our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has won the battle for us already.
This has been the verse that God placed in my heart since the beginning of this journey to Belgium, but this verse once again lays heavy in my heart in a new way, focusing specifically on the first sentence, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous." As I have read through passages in the bible from the old testament through the new testament, God is continually saying, "Do not be afraid"...."I'Am with you". But it was in Joshua 1:9 that the word "command" is used as God is speaking to Joshua who is taking the place of Moses. Command is to give an order in an official way, that we are to follow without question to the authority above us.
As I thought about all the things going on in our world and specifically Europe, I thought how easy it is to fall under fear. And with all honesty I have fallen in fear. I have at times thought how different it will to be going out of my comfort zone to a place that is post Christian, far from God, and specially to know that terrorism is very real there, the enemy is real, and I will not know when the next attack will happen and where will it be and where will I be. I think about all those people in Europe who commute through the metros, are walking through the streets, arriving at the airport or even sitting in church. They must all have that fear that they could be next as they see their own respected country be hit by terrorism, which is all a spiritual warfare that they are victims of. I knew this is real, but it didn't hit me the way it did last week, that I will have to face this reality when I'm there. Yet, the Lord is gracious and righteous, our God is full of compassion who protects the simple hearted and meets me in my anxious thoughts (Psalms 116) brought me back to Joshua 1:9, "Have I not COMMANDED? be STRONG and COURAGEOUS?" He has lad me to this mission and will be with me wherever I go. I cannot be afraid for I'am going to people that are afraid, it is my call in life to point people that are consumed in fear to point them to the light where there is hope, joy, peace, LOVE and all for His Glory Jesus Christ. I know My Lord is with me in all my steps and His protection is on my life, who will lead me in this mission as I go out to make disciples to His young. I will not fear for we are His Sons and Daughters and we are called to live BOLD in all that we do on this earth. Hasn't He COMMANDED us to not be afraid?
Will you all stand in prayer with me for His protection and angels to go with me where ever He leads as I go out into Europe to make disciples? Will you prayer to lead me to people of peace that are ready for His Good News to reap a great harvest of courageous young disciples and leaders ready to expand His Kingdom?
I leave you all with this scripture:
Isaiah 61:3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners