Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

My kids used to sing this verse as a song when they got together with all of their cousins. It was a catchy little song, and it helped a great deal in memorizing the verse.

The most interesting thing about this verse is the emphasis on the word command, this is not a good suggestion. ”Be strong, ” ”be courageous,” ”do not tremble, ” ”do not be dismayed, ” don’t do it, period! Be anxious for nothing, do not fear, that is a clear, black and white command concerning everything, no matter how big and how bad it is.

Looking out my window, I can’t see very far because there is so much smoke, it just hangs everywhere. If the existence of fear could be seen we would see it like this smoke, hanging everywhere, influencing everything. People are afraid of getting sick, of their stuff burning up, of getting lung cancer from the smoke, of the future, and their finances. The amount of alcohol being consumed in the last six months has almost doubled over the same time the previous year, drug use has gone up, the number of people who are getting counseling for anxiety and depression has increased substantially, and the number of suicides has increased as well.

Obeying the command to not fear isn’t as easy to accomplish as the command to pick up the pepper shaker would be, but it is a command and therefore it is very possible for us to live a fear free life. God would not command us to do something that is impossible to do. I am fear free; I am not uptight or anxious about anything. Here is what I do;

1. I take every fearful and anxious thought captive, that is, I stop thinking those thoughts as soon as I am aware of them in my mind. I do that by choosing to meditate on Bible verses that I have memorized well on this topic.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

1 Peter 5:7 cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

2. I pray about whatever is bugging me, and ask God for strength, joy, peace, and wisdom. He promises always to answer the prayer for those blessings. If the fear and anxiety is strong in me, I will write out the prayers, and pray them often.

3. I choose to think about heaven, what it will look like, what my new glorified body will feel like and what I will be able to do. I think about flying, about all the people I will see like my Mom and Dad, and about being able to remember everything. I think about Jesus, what He will look like, sound like, and what it will be like to talk to Him. I let my imagination go wild.

I guarantee you that if you do those same three mental disciplines, you will be fear and anxiety free. It is a great way to live.

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