“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Although I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie in its entirety, I know the phrase, “May the force be with you,” is a saying that’s common throughout. So what is “the force?” Well, again I’m no Star Wars enthusiast, but I have to assume it’s a backing, of sorts, given to the one who’s willing to rely upon it.
As a Chaplain with the NC Highway Patrol, I’ve had the privilege of watching many young Troopers learn and grow in their delegated positions of authority. One of the things they are taught in Patrol School, similar to what I learned in Marine Corps boot camp, is the concept of “Command Presence.” They are taught how to carry themselves as a Trooper in any situation they may be in. Whether they’re writing a ticket, investigating a motor vehicle collision, arresting a drunk driver, or anything their duties may lead them to do, they’re taught how to conduct themselves and carry themselves in a professional, yet confident manner. Some may mistake this confidence for arrogance, but for most Troopers this “Command Presence” comes from knowing they are representing the State of North Carolina, but also with that representation, they know there is a force behind them.
When that Trooper holds out his hand to stop a car while directing traffic, he or she is aware that, by themselves, they have no power to stop a 3,500 pound vehicle, but they know that behind that held up hand is a force much bigger then themselves. That force is their state and the entire force of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
As the children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land, Moses wanted them to know that, as long as they followed God and stayed under His covering, there would always be a force that would go with them and even go before them. And, that “force” would be God Himself. They wouldn’t have to worry about the giants and vast armies they were about to face because “the force” of God and His power would go before them and with them.
Today, we can walk in the confidence of knowing that same force and power of God is with us today, and in every situation we may face, as we follow Him.