Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
[Joshua 1:9 NKJV]
There is an amazing reassurance in these words from the book of Joshua. And yet we can so often doubt the veracity of what is said here. He is with each one of us ‘wherever’.
Do I believe this? Even more, do I recognise the truth of this in my life? I should do. Many is the time that I have said (or sang) to myself “How Great Thou Art”, only for that spirit of anxiety to come charging back in as soon as I take my eyes off Him.
But The Lord is faithful — more so to me than I am to Him — and He steps into the midst of me, gently guiding ‘me’ out of ‘His’ way, so to speak.
In short, as I ‘go on with Him’, I am getting better at recognising my problem areas; quicker to turn to Him. And you can readily identify my problem if you study what I have written thus far. The single-letter word ‘I’ has occurred 9 times (10 if you include it in this sentence), and reveals the focus of attention; on myself. He is training me — and we — to swing that equation the other way round.
One way that He does that — and He has many ways, for He is ‘The Way’ — is to direct us to His word. The Psalms particularly offer ‘the road to freedom’ and Psalm 27 is one of my favourites. Here are the first five verses:
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
[Psalm 27:1-5 NKJV]
The only simplicity there is, is a simplicity of life which is true to Jesus, not to a theory about Him (2 Corinthians 11:3). You cannot tie yourself up in anything logically consistent.