Monday, November 12, 2012

Be strong and courageous

"Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.”  Joshua 1:6

Following Christ is not for the weak.  Anyone who will follow Christ fully must be prepared to act in the teeth of worldly wisdom and must value the Lord’s work as necessary.  There are scripture pictures of courage that reveal the kind of faith it takes to follow God.

One definition of courage displayed from scripture is following difficult instructions in the face of danger.  Gideon’s Band was certainly not the army Gideon thought he would haveThe LORD said to Gideon, "I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home." Judges 7:7  God wanted it to be clear that He was the One who was the victor.

Another definition of courage shown in scripture is confronting an opponent with the confidence that you will ultimately succeed regardless of your size or strength measured against the opponent.  And David said, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and may the LORD be with you." 1 Samuel 17:37

While the "victory" has been won, there is still the necessity of fighting the "battles" in order to experience God's victory in our lives.  To confront the world around us with the gospel demands a "holy boldness" that many find lacking in their lives.  Fear that we cannot succeed is overcome by properly understanding God's plan and recognizing His provision for its accomplishment.

God said to Joshua, "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.  Joshua 1:2  Joshua was not Moses and needed personal affirmation from God of His presence and call.  Joshua could not "do" as Moses because of his own gifts and personality - But he could accomplish God's desire. Notice this principle as we review this passage…

·      The Courage of the Christian comes by recognizing that he is accomplishing God's work"Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. We often feel that victory is our responsibility instead of God's.  Joshua 1:3-6

God clearly stated that He was GIVING the land to those bold enough to advance upon it.  Courage on our part is boldness to claim more than it is power to conquer.  God gave the promise of power in through His presence.  Our fear comes as a result of measuring OUR strength against the task instead of GOD’S POWER.  God has not called us not to test our strength, but His.  The Christian who clearly understands that He is doing GOD'S WORK in GOD'S POWER has a new source of courage.
Note in our scripture for today that even Jesus was dependent on the Father’s power.

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”  John 5:19

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