Christian Leaders Need to Be Strong in the Lord

Day 1 - January 2, 2023 (video devotional)

(Video transcript below)

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When Moses came to the end of his life, he knew it was time for transition.  He had been a remarkable leader for God, eager to identify with the people of God more than enjoy all the pleasures of Egypt.  He faced down Pharaoh and His magicians, endured the grumbling of the Israelites, and persevered until His time to enter the presence of God.  

But the work of God was not over, and the world was ready for the next generation of courageous God-honoring leadership.  God appointed Joshua to take the next step in the mighty plans of God to lead the people into the promised land.  In every generation of history, God has more purposes to fulfill and looks for leaders to step up, set aside fear, and fulfill their destiny.  Joshua had demonstrated his loyalty and devotion to God, especially during the episode of sending spies into the land.  Only he and Caleb had the courage and faith to believe God to enter, but because the people rebelled, they all spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness.  But now the time had come, and the days of discipline were over, and Moses was passing the baton to Joshua.  

Moses says to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:6-8 - “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

This charge was needed because Joshua, even at his advanced age, would encounter situations and obstacles that he had not seen before.  Even though God was going with him to give him success, Joshua’s courage and determination were absolutely needed for this endeavor.  God raised up Moses for a particular time and particular purpose, and now it’s the time for Joshua. 

Have you realized that you, too, have a role to play in advancing the kingdom of God?  Though there have been God-fearing leaders in the past like Abraham, Nehemiah, Esther, King David, Daniel, the Apostles and others, that they were for their own era, and you are for this era.  Have you gone about your life, forgetting that God makes no accidents, and that He divinely appointed you for this day and age to serve as salt and light and to bring the kingdom in certain places and certain ways?  Are you listening to the call of God and are you drawing upon the supernatural courage that He’s offering?

Joshua was flat-out commanded not to fear man and to have no dread.  Does fear of man or dread of some kind hold you back from your divinely appointed purposes?  Do these words to Joshua, which are also words to you, need to go down deep into your soul?  Perhaps you’ve forgotten that God is always with you and will never leave you or forsake you.  This reminder is given many times in the Bible because of our forgetfulness.  Have you forgotten?  He says it in Hebrews, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  He says it in Matthew when giving the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…and behold I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Remembering the promises of His presence helps you be the man or woman of God you were destined to be.  Jesus said not to fear those who can only destroy the body, but instead to fear Him who has power over the body and soul.  In obeying God you may be ridiculed, mocked, slandered, rejected and insulted.  So they did to the godly men and women before you, and so they will sometimes do to you.  You are in great company!  Jesus said no student is above his teacher, and if they persecuted Jesus, they will persecute you.  You are promised in the Scriptures that all who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted.  If you’ve had very little persecution in your life, perhaps it’s because there’s been very little godliness.  

Let’s go to prayer and give God His glory:  

Dear Father, You are the glorious, beautiful, powerful, mighty, all-knowing God.  Everything has been created by You and for You and in You all things hold together.  You’ve appointed the times and locations for all persons to live that they might reach out to You and find You, and step into the purposes of their lives.  You’ve created the beautiful and powerful angels, and You’ve created the human race, made in Your image, to do Your will and to love you and walk with You on earth as well as in the next life.  

We thank You for the gift of life.  We thank You for forgiveness of sins through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  We thank You for family, friends, provision, encouragement, help, protection and love which You have given us.  We are grateful to You for Your many blessings and kindnesses.  Praise to Your great and glorious name.  

  • Let every hindrance or obstacle standing in the way of me fulfilling my destiny be destroyed now in the name of Jesus.
  • Let fear of man be crucified in my heart and may the Spirit of courage rise up in my heart to give you glory.
  • Give me grace today as I boldly approach Your throne for grace and mercy, in my time of need.  
  • Speak to me and let me see and know the purposes You have for me in my family, community and nation.  As You gave Nehemiah favor before King Artaxerxes, give me favor in my God-given endeavors.
  • Give me zeal for the salvation of my family and community.  
  • Protect every family member from temptation, accusation, deception and fear.  
  • Forgive me my sins, and I repent of any and all unforgiveness I’ve harbored in my heart against others.  
  • Strengthen my hands for the tasks before me that I may not fail You nor bring dishonor to Your Name.  
  • Give me strong Christian friendships, so that they may help me face all adversities that come against me.  
  • Give me self-discipline that I may seek Your face every morning and evening for guidance, wisdom and grace. 
  • Hear my cry and acknowledgement that we need You in our community and nation, to bring healing, repentance, joy and life.
  • Stir up the Christians in the nation to be faith-filled, full of boldness, zeal, perseverance and devotion that Jesus Christ may be lifted up and glorified.
  • I repent on behalf of myself and the Christians of this country for not seeking You wholeheartedly as You require.  
  • I repent on behalf of myself and the Christians of this country for being casual and flippant about the things of God.
  • I repent on behalf of myself and the Christians of this country for not being concerned about the priorities and purposes of Jesus Christ.
  • Lord, go out like a mighty man, a man of war, to stir up Your zeal and show Yourself mighty against Your foes.
  • Lord, put the warrior Spirit inside me that I may fight for what’s pleasing and honoring to You.  

Dear Father, You are the God who hears the prayers of Your people, always remembering us, always forgiving because You give love to a thousand generations.  How grateful I am for Your kindness to me and that by the blood of Jesus I have access to Your throne.  You have paid the price that I may walk with You day by day, and for that I am forever thankful.  In every generation, You’ve raised up men and women, giving them direction and courage that they may please You and bring the kingdom of light into dark areas.  I trust and believe You to do the same for me and for my generations. May I have the faith to always believe, knowing that though mankind may be faithless, You are always faithful.  My confidence is not in the wisdom or strength of man, but in the zeal, wisdom and power of the almighty.  I declare that I shall never trust chariots or horses, but for the purposes of the God who makes everything happen and everything new.  May Your will be done and may Your kingdom come, that Jesus Christ be glorified in every way.  Amen

Matt Bennett
Founder and CEO, Christian Union

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