Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption

The Lord our God is with us


One of the most well-known characters of the Old Testament is Moses, and understandably so. His story tells of princesses and river rescues, burning bushes and holy ground, parting waters and stone tablets, and leading the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to freedom. But not so much attention is given to Moses’s second-in-command, Joshua, the man who actually led the Israelites into the Promised Land after Moses’s death.

Joshua’s story can be found scattered from Exodus through to Deuteronomy, but the time from when he took over from Moses until his death is outlined in an Old Testament book of Joshua that is dedicated solely to his life. In this book we can read of the more familiar stories of Rahab and the Battle of Jericho, but what of Joshua himself? What was he like as a person?

Joshua’s resume as a soldier and a leader is outstanding. He showed prowess as a military leader while being a channel for answered prayer (see Exodus 17:8-13). He also exhibited a strong faith and incredible courage (see Numbers 14:8-9). Joshua was a man highly qualified by nature, training and experience who followed the calling of God and lived in His favour.

One thing that stands out to me at the moment, however, is the point when Moses realises that his time is coming to an end and he commissions Joshua to take over his leadership. At the at the end of Deuteronomy (31:6) Moses first says to the Israelites: ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of [the enemy], for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.’

And then Moses speaks directly to Joshua (31:7-8): ‘Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them…The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’

And when we come to chapter one of Joshua, which takes place after Moses’s death, God himself delivers the words ‘be strong and courageous’ three times, with the final inclusion stating: ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’

Be strong and courageous.

It’s a phrase I’m hearing a lot at the moment as people respond to the genuine concerns around the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. But the part that makes the difference between this phrase being a cliche and it being an expression – a command – in which we can find true hope and encouragement is the promise that comes with it. The promise of: ‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you…wherever you go…He will never leave you nor forsake you.’

For all of Joshua’s competence and credentials, it was God’s presence that enabled him to be strong and courageous. And for all of God’s promises in the Bible, they apply to us in the same way that they did to these people thousands of years ago.

We don’t have to be strong and courageous on our own. It is not a vacuous command that leaves us alone to conjure up some brave feelings that we have to convince our hearts are true. There is a reason that we can be strong and courageous and the reason is clear – because the Lord our God will be with us wherever we go. He will never forsake us – come what may.

Friends, Joshua faced many enemies many times, but his strength and courage was found in the Lord. Today I invite you to take encouragement from the words of this great man of God: ‘Do not be afraid of [the enemy]. The Lord is with us.’

– Kirrily



You are donating to : Greennature Foundation

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note
What We Believe

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God and inerrant in the original writings. We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that the lost and sinful man must be saved, and that man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We believe in and practice the holy ordinance of water baptism, which signifies the believer’s death, burial, and resurrection into new life with Christ Jesus, and the regular celebration of Holy Communion as commanded by our Lord.

We believe in the present ministry and baptism of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved; those that are saved into the resurrection of life and those that are unsaved into the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our History

In recognition of the tremendous growth forecast for the Plenty Valley, Bishop Stephen Hale set up a Taskforce in 2007 to investigate the possibility of establishing a new Anglican community in the area. With representation from local churches and Ivanhoe Grammar School, this Taskforce developed a plan that included the need for a point person to further the work. In response to this, two years ago St John’s Diamond Creek took a great step of faith by employing a staff member to not only serve its own congregation but to focus on establishing a new parish for Mernda. Craig spent his first year getting to know the area, building relationships and discerning what God was already up to in His mission of reaching residents and retailers with His love. Throughout the following year a core team began to form around a vision that arose again and again through prayer, of a red gum taking root in the heart of Mernda and growing while the roots reached out to every corner of the community. This vision of being organic church integrally connected to local community found a means of expression through the “Sheffield Model”, which was first developed by St Thomas’s in Sheffield (UK) nearly 15 years ago.

With a focus on “missional communities” the Sheffield model emphasises the need for Christians to meet with people in their own world rather than expecting them to enter ours. After spending time with the staff of St Thomas’s, Craig and the team began work on adapting the model for our own local context and subsequently launched two playgroups in the second half of 2010. A missional community has also begun forming around crafts and the creative arts which runs a stall at the Laurimar market to raise money for various causes. Three preview services were also held as God continued to draw people into the Plentylife community.

We now launch with a much clearer vision of who God wants us to be, a five-strong leadership team with responsibilities for missional communities, youth, families, and administration, and leadership for three missional communities focused on families, crafts and the creative arts and the outdoor life. And it’s true that we wouldn’t be at this point today if it wasn’t for the generous support of the Diocese, St Johns and other supporting churches! So now together we look forward to what else God might have in store for us according to His grace.