Daily Devotion – Joshua 1:9 – How to Know God Is With You

When we can't feel his presence

"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

Are you sure God is with you? Maybe you have been disappointed with God and have built a great big wall. You no longer feel his presence, so you wonder – will God become frustrated with me in my stubbornness and abandon me?

Back in September, I was disappointed with God. It stemmed from a significant loss which I knew He could have prevented but didn’t. I erected a mighty BIG wall to keep him at a distance. My faith stood firm, but the feelings of His undeniable presence were gone.

Step by step, I had been inching my way back into the arms of God while trying hard to rekindle the feelings of His nearness.

A God Moment

It was early in the morning when I heard the door close downstairs, and a voice asked, “Have you looked outside yet?” I ran to the window, pulling at the shades as they clanked, about to peer through the slats and see the front yard.

Ahhhh – it was beautiful. A fresh blanket of snow had graced our neighborhood. I immediately grinned from ear to ear.

Crisp new snow always brings thoughts of a fresh new start.

However, on this particular morning, I didn’t have time to savor this thought too long. I had a plane to catch.

I began to ponder whether the roads would be safe. Hurriedly, I rushed about knowing it would be wise to leave a little earlier than planned.

Huffing and puffing I maneuvered my big suitcase through the snow and up into the car. Why I pack so much I will never know. As I exhaled, I breathed a sigh of relief as I heard the familiar sound of the snow plows pushing the snow to the side of the highway. I muttered under my breath,

“Thank you, God.”

We headed down the pass, in the cold and the dark, a little slower than usual, but still going with a bit of speed. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, we began to slide from one lane to the next. I watched as my friend turned her wheel back and forth into the slide like a pro.

It was then out of nowhere the wall I had built between God and me crumbled into a thousand pieces. Now I know what you might be thinking, “Of course you cried out to God when in need and He showed up.” But that’s not what it was about.

In those few seconds, a sense of peace came over me, and I felt God’s closeness. Instead of being overcome with fear, which would have been warranted, I quietly expressed,

“You Got This.”

I could feel God with us in the car at that moment. Of course, at the same time, as we slid into the other lanes,  I was completely aware of the high probability of hitting another vehicle. Plus, we were creeping closer and closer to the edge of the road which I knew dropped deep into the canyon below.

BUT I wasn’t afraid. God’s presence was not only known –  I was feeling it.

In those few seconds, God enveloped me with the kind of peace that makes no sense and settles in your soul. I knew without a doubt, no matter what happened,  God would not leave me. Though the outcome was uncertain, I wouldn’t be alone, and He would be enough.

The good news is God is always near whether we feel him or not.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

God Never Moved

Oh, I know God never moved; it was me. I stomped my feet and allowed a wall to go up. He didn’t do things the way I had expected nor desired, and I responded in a way which put distance between us.

However, never once did I doubt He was near. Never once was my faith in jeopardy. After all, God and I have a relationship built on Trust covered with Faith, Hope, and Love.

Are you in a place where you don’t feel God’s presence?

How to Know God Is with You

1.  Go to His word and take in the truth.

2.  Remember those “God Moments” when His presence was undeniable. Write them down so you can pull them back out in times when you can’t feel his closeness.

Yes, I did make it to the airport unharmed with a new song in my heart and that old familiar feeling of the Lord’s presence deep in my being. If you are not feeling near to God, I would love to pray for you. Please leave me a comment.

*This article is a condensed version of the original post published on Embracing the Unexpected. Click here if you would like a printout of Bible Verses to Remind Us God is Near.

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