“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.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
In March 2020, when the pandemic started shutting down the entire world, we left our home in New York City and drove to South Carolina, where my sister and her family reside.
We thought we’d be gone two weeks. But we never returned to NYC to live.
You may wonder why we chose to stay in South Carolina … and the answer is simple: We had a peace from God that we were supposed to stay.
Did we know why? No.
Um, God, are you really calling us to a small, rural town? With no backup plan and no jobs lined up?
Everything happened so unexpectedly — I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to my home or pack up my office at ABC News. No closure. No hugs. Things didn’t end how I thought they would — on my terms, with a neat and tidy bow.
This new path wasn’t necessarily our first choice or what we wanted. However, in hindsight, it’s exactly what our family needed.
We trusted that peace we felt in our spirits — so, as terrifying as it was, we decided to press into our fear and step out in faith even though we were scared as ever.
Oftentimes, God calls us to do things that are risky, don’t make sense or might seem crazy. Things that we’re scared to do. In the Old Testament, we see God call Joshua to do something extremely risky, something others may have thought was crazy: taking down the mighty walls of Jericho that had stood unmovable for years.
Scripture doesn’t explicitly tell us that Joshua was afraid, but in the first nine verses of Joshua Chapter 1, God tells Joshua three times to be strong and courageous (vv. 6, 7, 9). So we can gather that Joshua was fearful in the face of this assignment! He might have even felt ill-equipped or incapable.
Maybe you’re feeling like that now. Or you've felt like that in the past.
Time and time again in my life, I’ve felt incapable, unqualified and unready for what God has called me to do, telling myself, “There’s nothing special about me; I’m going to fail and humiliate myself. I’m crazy to pursue this … God, I’m just not ready.” The doubts and lies go on and on.
But I always come back to Joshua 1.
God told Joshua, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you … 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” (Joshua 1:5b, 9, NIV).
The same is true for us today. When God calls us, He equips us. And the best thing He equips us with is Himself.
What’s on your heart today? What is frightening you? Maybe you feel called to something, but you’re too terrified to take the next step. Maybe you’re scared of being seen in a different capacity. Maybe you’re afraid of failure or the financial implications. It could be something as simple as trying a brand-new hobby. Or it might be walking away from a job because it’s destroying you.
Whatever it is, remember this: When God calls you, God equips you.
While He commands us to be strong and courageous, He’s also a gracious and merciful God who knows we’ll often feel fear along the way. Yet it’s up to us to press into our fear. And when we do, God promises He’ll be there because “the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9c).
If you’re being called to something new and have God’s peace about it, take that first step — push through your fear —and watch God show up and show off.
For just as God promised Joshua, He’ll be with you and I wherever we go.
Dear God, thank You for calling me into new and exciting things. Thank You for knowing me so intimately that You know all my fears. As You call me to step out in courage, please continue to remind me that You are with me, You never leave me, and You have equipped me. I trust that, as I obey You, You will do all You’ve promised. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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In Paula Faris’ deeply personal book, Called Out: Why I Traded Two Dream Jobs for a Life of True Calling, she shares her journey through conquering fears that nearly kept her from the high-profile, high-stakes world of broadcast journalism and then facing the dangers when that world threatened to consume her. Along the way, she heard God gently calling her out to discover her true purpose. This book reflects on what it truly means to be called, how to move past the fear holding you back and how to walk in God's path for you. Get your copy of the newly released paperback version today, which includes a free six-week discussion guide!
Paula is passionate about empowering and encouraging our generation through inspirational and entertaining content. Check out her new podcast, The Paula Faris Faith & Calling Podcast. You can also engage with her on Instagram @PaulaFaris and sign up for her newsletters at www.PaulaFarisOfficial.com.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)
Is God calling you to something new? Whether that thing is big or small, don’t allow your fear to prevent you from taking the next step in faith! Share in the comments what God is calling you to today and how you can courageously obey Him.
© 2021 by Paula Faris. All rights reserved.
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