We learn [moreover] that the essential requisite for confidence and courage is the assurance that we are in the path of God's will. To be without this, as the Scripture history continually illustrates, is to expose ourselves to the attacks of Satan on every side through our weakness and irresolution. Hence it is that the Lord says to Joshua, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." etc. For together with the consciousness that the Lord is sending us on any service, the conviction is divinely begotten in our hearts that He will sustain us in the face of all obstacles, and conduct us to the end He has in view. We thus read of our blessed Lord, in the prophecy, that, with the full knowledge of what awaited Him, He set His face like a flint, knowing that He should not be ashamed, because, indeed, He had come to do the will of God. Joshua, therefore, was put upon this rock of God's will, that when he might see in after-days, the Amorites and Canaanites, the seven nations, swarming around the armies of Israel, he might not be afraid nor be dismayed; that he might say with David in a later day, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1) Then also he would be able to add, "When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell."
But together with this, where the suited state of soul is found, and where the servant is assuredly in obedience to the will of God, there is still greater encouragement. It is added, "For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." In like manner the Lord, in charging His disciples to go and teach all nations, said for their sustainment, "and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt 28:20). Moses entered into the absolute necessity for this when he cried, " If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here" (Exodus 33:15). We are taught, therefore, that, in all our service and conflicts, it is utterly useless, yea, worse than useless, to proceed unless the Lord is with us. It is not too much to say, indeed, that all the defeats of the people of God may be traced back to the lack of this one essential of success. Nay, it may be confidently stated that success is assured when the Lord is with His people. Let us, then, heed the lesson well, that the Lord cannot be with us unless we are in the suited state and condition, and unless His will is governing our movements and activities. Too much reliance is often placed upon the general truth that the Lord's presence can be counted upon; the point to be remembered is, that except we are in the path of His will and following after holiness He will not manifest Himself as being with His saints. (Compare Numbers 5 and 6.)
The Lord Himself lay these things upon our hearts, that we may be more effective in His service, and more for His pleasure in all our walk and conflicts.