Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9, ESV

God’s commands carry a lot of weight and responsibility. But this particular passage is loaded with power and a promise.  Joshua is promised -“for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” That promise is both empowering and comforting.

The promise of God’s presence is empowering because Joshua is familiar with God’s ability to perform miracles. Joshua having the presence of God with him is like a teenage son with his dad by his side. The son is braver with Dad near and is confident that Dad has his back. Joshua knows God has his back.

Fear and Courage


God is not telling Joshua to suck it up and be brave. Joshua has his heart focused on God’s promise to never leave him.

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. (Joshua 1:5, ESV)

Wow! God made Joshua a powerful promise — no enemy will be able to stand before you (Joshua 1:5, ESV). God is saying, “no one can defeat you.” Of course, Joshua’s confidence soars and instantly his fear is dispelled. That’s not all.

God gives Joshua additional weapons to dispel fear and confusion.

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses, my servant, commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:7–8, ESV)

Grab these promises for you!

  • Do not turn away from the law of God — give attention to God’s word (vs. 7)
  • Success is yours – when you do things God’s way (vs. 7)
  • Let God’s word stay in your mouth — keep speaking God’s affirmations (vs. 8)
  • Meditate on God’s word — keep your mind from fear (vs. 8)
  • Be careful to obey God — do what God says (vs. 8)


The command to “be strong” connects directly to where you sit your mind and mouth. God’s promises work best when linked with a way to achieve them.

Joshua’s strength is linked to the words he speaks and the thoughts he thinks.

The surprise is where God tells Joshua to “keep” His word — in his mouth. How strange is that? God does not tell Joshua to keep His word in his heart, and he tells Joshua to keep His word in his mouth. God’s ways are higher than our ways.

Why does God say, “keep My word in our mouth?” Here is the gotcha moment. God knows that our thoughts evolve from our words. God commands Joshua to speak and meditate on His word.

Meditation and declaration are the keys to Joshua’s strength and courage. Joshua is to stay focused on God and His power.

When we keep our minds on God and His Word, we will be empowered with courage and strengthened with His might in every circumstance.

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