person walking along path - willing to follow God

Are You Willing to Follow? – Thoughts from Joshua 1:9

Marriage Dynamics InstituteFaith, Patience

If you are willing to follow God’s leading, it will strengthen your faith—and your marriage.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

The United States military is one of the most powerful in the world. Decisive victories and courage under fire highlight a rich battle history that’s older than our nation itself. Our soldiers are highly trained and well disciplined. And for the most part, they still live up to what Navy Rear Admiral Chester P. Nimitz said about those who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima: “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Obviously, that sort of heritage and lasting culture doesn’t just happen. It reflects a certain ethos instilled in the heart of every service member from the time they enter a recruit training facility and face the long weeks of  training.

Part of that ethos is that you are willing to follow commands given you by a superior officer without question. As Jack Nicholson’s character, Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, said in the classic A Few Good Men, “We follow orders or people die.”

Certainly that type of commitment—to follow the leader and steadfastly pursue a defined course of action—echoes through God’s admonition to Joshua and the children of Israel as he shows the way forward. Notice the reminder.

I’ve commanded you.

God has given us an order. If we choose to follow him we’ve got specific directives. So don’t let fear overcome you.  And don’t focus too much on your circumstances. When you are in the thick of things, remember who’s by your side.

God is the great Commander in Chief. He is there in the fray, in control and leading us forward.

God wants to speak words of courage and direction into your marriage right now. So don’t let the Enemy’s tactics throw you off course. Even though it may not be easy, God can lead you to a better place in your relationship if you are willing to follow him.

Stay focused on the sound of God’s voice because he knows what to do. Of the thousands of marriages we’ve worked with at Marriage Dynamics Institute, there’s not one challenge, trial, or heartache that caught God off guard. He wasn’t surprised by what happened to you. And he isn’t surprised at what you’re facing now.

Make no mistake, God had no part in creating the problems you faced or you’re facing now. He does, however, allow us to suffer consequences and go through trials because of the things we or other people do. That’s part of the battle we are in as citizens of the Earth. But he didn’t cause it, and it wasn’t his will that sin crept in and took hold.

Know this for certain. God didn’t abandon you in the midst of your trial. He was and is with you. If anything, he’s trying to lead you out of the skirmish you’re in.

You don’t have to be afraid of what you’re facing, and it doesn’t have to ruin you.

So just follow the Leader. Because the battle is his, and he’s going to win it.

About the Author

Marriage Dynamics Institute

Marriage Dynamics Institute (MDI) wants to cultivate healthy families, churches, and communities by helping create marriages full of joy, meaning, and purpose. Having served more than 75,000 couples since 1994, MDI offers workshops and seminars for marriages at every stage, including those in crisis.