Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai.
For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people,
his city and his land.
Joshua 8:1
God doesn’t put a limit on how many times we can come back to Him after we’ve failed. When we do, He picks us up, dusts us off, gives us a hug or a swat (whichever we need the most)—sometimes both—and sends us back into the fray. He forgives.
After Joshua blew it, God didn’t rehash the problem, or call him names. Like us, Joshua was probably already berating himself, reliving the whole situation and how he should have handled it differently. Instead, He gave him a pep talk and marching orders.
Joshua needed reassurance that God hadn’t rejected him as leader. God knew what Joshua needed to hear: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”In fact, He speaks that exact phrase to him five times in the book of Joshua, plus a lot more messages of encouragement.
But that’s not all; God also tells him why he doesn’t have to be afraid—because He has a plan and it’s already in the bag. Then He gives Joshua specific instructions on what to do next—attack Ai again, but this time take all the troops and rely on God’s power for success.
Have you tried to accomplish God’s work in your own power?
Have you walked in pride and been brought low?
Has someone in your church or family fallen to temptation because of a lack of accountability?
Do you feel defeated by the failures of your past? Like you have no business accepting a leadership role for God’s people?

That’s ok. God’s not done with you yet. He hates pride and deceit, but He can use those who are humble and contrite.
On your prayer walk today, confess your failures to God and let Him bolster your sagging confidence with a holy hug. Ask Him: What now Lord? How can I lead when I feel so unworthy? Show me how to fight for my family, my coworkers, my neighbors and bring them to your kingdom? Give me courage to take the steps to accomplish your will.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21
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