May 2023 Student Leader Devotion
Missions Discipleship

Be Courageous: Joshua 1:1–10

Let’s quickly back up before we dive into the passage Joshua 1:1–10. Years earlier, Joshua and some spies proceeded to go to the land God promised the Israelites. Apart from Caleb, the rest feared entering the promised land because they felt inadequate. Their unbelief cost them the opportunity to live in the promised land.

Fast forward and now Joshua is given a second chance to enter the promised land. However, there were clear instructions and conditions. To enjoy the promised land, he and his people must study God’s word. They must meditate on it day and night. They must not deviate from all the instructions. If they were living in line with God’s ways, God promised them victory. God promised them land. God promised success and prosperity. God promised them they would have nothing to fear for He would go with them wherever they went so that they could walk boldly, courageously, and without fear. The King of kings was on their side. They would never need to be afraid or discouraged.

Although this was written thousands of years ago, there are some principles from this text that still apply to us.

First, when God calls you to do something, whether it be to lead a group of kids or go on a missions trip to a foreign land, do not be afraid. Do not miss out on the blessing God wants to give you by expressing disbelief that the God who has called you is not capable of equipping you.

Next, God wants to bless you. He wants to give you an abundant life! In our world of health and wealth and “me-centered” gospel presentations, we have probably heard this message before. Sadly, what we do not hear much about are the conditions that continually go with these commands. God wants us to obey so that we will prosper and meditate day and night on His word.

Many people like to quote Jeremiah, saying God knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you. They rarely finish the verse in the full context with the condition that we must seek Him with all our heart. To seek Him with all our heart means to meditate on Him day and night and obey all His commands.

As a leader, God is giving you some territory. The more faithful you are with a little, the more territory He will give you.

Here is my encouragement to you. Always remember that your ministry’s success rests on you being completely surrendered to seeking God first. Literally remain in Him so you bear much fruit. But here is what I love. When you know that you are living according to God’s word and following where His Spirit guides you, you never need to be afraid. God will never leave you nor forsake you and all the power rests in Him to complete His mission through you.

As I type this, I am in the country of Botswana in Africa. When I was 12 years old, God clearly told me I would be a missionary to Africa. For years, God led me to pray for the nation of Botswana for an opportunity to teach this entire country about Christ. As I type this, we will be sharing the gospel tomorrow with 4,000 people. It took years of prayer, but a couple years ago, God clearly said, “It is time! Rise up and speak out. Do not fear. I will go with you and you will be my mouthpiece to teach my truth to this nation.”

We now have the privilege of teaching thousands through various media platforms and 18-day family building campaigns. In this particular campaign, the army has 1,000 soldiers attending daily, about 300 from the police, 650 students, chiefs, school teachers, social workers, politicians, etc. If you would have told me these people would be instructed by the government to come and listen to us teach for three weeks in a row every day, I would have said, “No way! How will that be possible?” But God didn’t give us the land overnight. He gave us small steps of obedience that over time have led us to this point.

What is God calling you to do? Don’t be afraid! Remain in Him and go forth with confidence knowing He has already given you the victory!

Ashley Thaba and her family live in Botswana where they use media as a platform to teach biblical family values on an international level. They do this through television in Botswana and through weekly national newspaper columns in Zambia, Eswatini, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. They also work with the government to lead village-wide campaigns promoting biblical family values.