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Overcome Your Fears


Joshua 1:1-11, 16-18
Bible Studies for Life, May 1


Fear – Phobia. A persistent, abnormal or illogical fear of a specific thing or situation.

Dennis Nunn of Living The New Life Ministries taught recently about “Why are we afraid?” He shared with us the thoughts of phobia and disorders that we have. These are real phobias or fears that people face daily. Notice some of the fears listed:


Acrophobia – Fear of heights
Barophobia – Fear of gravity
Coulrophobia – Fear of clowns
Ephebiphobia – Fear of teenagers
Ecclesiophobia- Fear of church
Phobophobia- Fear of phobias
Telephonophobia- Fear of telephones.


As we look at the passage before us today, we are looking at “Overcoming Your Fears.”

Now in Joshua 1, we see that Moses has died and Joshua has now been given the task of leading the people of Israel. This alone could be a fear for many. When the leader for such a long period of time has now passed and the baton has been handed to the one in training, it can be an overwhelming feeling.

I believe many times we have this fear of not being able to live up to the expectations of others. But we are reminded that in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We have those phobias of life and we must trust the Lord (Pr. 3:5, 6) to do just what He said He would do.

We will see what God really is able to do with a willing vessel.

As a leader we have been given the daunting task of guiding and directing those who are looking for direction. Do you have a fear of leading the wrong path? Saying the wrong thing? Maybe interpreting Scripture in a wrong manner?

Just as Joshua had to step up and become a leader, God has called you to be a leader. Yes you! To lead your family! To lead your work place! To lead your church! To lead, whatever God has asked you to lead! The start of leading is simply in you!

Isaiah 6:8: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.’” The simple presence of God is a continual presence daily wherever or whatever you may face.

John Wooden, Hall of Fame college coach with UCLA, gave us some ideal thoughts on leading. He says “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” Too many times we know what God demands of us, yet we struggle with the thought that we cannot achieve it.

Honestly, I believe we all struggle with the incapabilities of our self. When we become more dependent upon God and not our own self, we will see what God really is able to do with a willing vessel.

So not only should we see the calling or the responsibility that God has given us but we should also see the command. Be strong! In the midst of everything be strong! While Joshua’s heart must have sunk to an all-time low. He was looking around and contemplating the task laid before him and if he was able to perform it.

Well, God told him that he will give him what Moses was promised and now Joshua is told that the Lord will enable him with the strength. In the four verses of 6-9 of chapter 1, the word “strong” is used three times. In Strong’s Concordance the word “strong” is defined by saying: “to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute.”

The LORD is telling Joshua that everything that he needs he will receive. Not to be dominated with fear but by faith. Faith in the LORD to do as He said He would do.

Now Joshua is being called; he is being commanded, now he must act courageous. This is carrying out what he was told and promised. Many times we have the called and even the commanded but we are lacking the courage to carry these things out. Joshua now is commanding the people to carry out those things that the LORD had told them to accomplish. He did this with courage and without fear but by faith.

It is not just the attitude of “charisma” but instead it is the act of God moving us to understand the calling on each of our life’s. The position of leadership is often marked with those who will lead not only by word but also by action.

John C. Maxwell said it this way: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

Are we pointing others to what God has commanded us to accomplish? Are we showing the faith and not fear in our own life? God has not called us to a position of leadership but the act of leading. It is not merely enough to be in the role, but to be actively participating in the command that God has given us to lead. As is said in Joshua 1:6, “Be strong and of good courage.”