Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:6-8
Did you know that the most repeated command in the Bible is "Fear not"? Rumor, from my pastor, is that there are 366 mentions of this command - one for each day of the year including leap year. If we have a big God behind us and in front of us, we should make it a regular habit to "Do not be afraid." Except I can state without a doubt that it is definitely not a habit of mine. I'm not even sure what it would look like in practice on any given day.
I've committed to going a bit more in-depth on the story of Moses after reading through the Pentateuch and towards the end of his life we jump in on the scene of God's succession planning. Joshua had already proven he was familiar with trusting God and not being afraid. He was one of two men who came back from a land of giants telling the Israelites, "no problem, go for it" because he knew God was with them. His reward was becoming the next leader of the Israelites after Moses passed on.
It wasn't a small job. Moses' eulogy read: "Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face....For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel." (Deut. 34: 10-12) On top of following that act, Joshua was now going to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. They were going to have a few battles to fight, and he was in charge of keeping them focused on God's promises and leading them to victory.
In the reading above, God, via Moses, tells Israel & Joshua three times "do not be afraid." No fear. Go for it. When God's with you, He'll fight the battles for you. Do not be afraid.
So, there's my challenge for the next year. I don't know what it will look like, but if it's in there 366 times, it must be pretty important. What are you fearing that you need to put in the "do not fear" pile?