Strong And Courageous

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV)

THE ART OF PEOPLE PLEASING

I'm not sure if you've ever read this verse, but it's a verse that has been hounding me for over three years now. By Gods grace the Lord in his kindness has been working courage in me, because the reality is on my own I'm a people pleaser and a bit of a coward. That doesn’t mean that I’m not effective, and it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad worker or employee. Quite the opposite, I’m generally the guy you want working on your team, I’m a hard worker, smart(ish) make people laugh and make people feel safe.  None of those qualities are in it of themselves bad, however I can hide behind those ‘good things’ to keep me from ever taking a real risk or to a point where I have to be strong and courageous in the Lord.

GOD HAD A PLAN FOR JOSHUA

Sometimes I wonder if Joshua was kinda like me? Obviously Joshua struggled with being courageous in the Lord or else the call to be strong and courageous in the Lord wouldn’t have been plastered all over Joshua.

Obviously, God instructs Joshua to be strong and courageous but why does he do it? So Joshua could be arrogant or be able to check the courage box on his character chart? Or be able to boast about his abilities on the battlefield, or to be loved and revered by his friends and enemies? No way!!!  It's because God had a plan for Joshua's life that would necessitate Joshua being courageous. Not so Joshua might be magnified for his courage, rather that God would be glorified and that the world would know that He is God. Joshua needed to be courageous because God was going to call him to walk around a wall seven times then blow a bunch of horns and trust that Jericho would fall.

THERE IS A FINE LINE BETWEEN BEING COURAGEOUS AND SIMPLY BEING STUPID

Sometimes the line may be kinda blurred. I’ve heard people say God is calling them to do some pretty crazy things before. Some legit and some not. But if God is truly calling you to do something (BTW it will always align with scripture) he will always supply the power to do it through the Holy Spirit.

Just this week we got to hear from Michael and Carol Hart from ZOE. They are “normal” Christians who dared to tell God that they would do whatever he called them to do. They felt God was calling them to play a role in bringing an end to the trafficking of children and take the gospel to as many as they could who have not yet heard. They then sold most of their possessions setup ZOE International and moved to Thailand. 12 years later they are able to look back and see the incredible work that God has done. They on their own could not have accomplished and pulled this off, they needed God. And if you heard Michael and Carol talk this weekend you know who the hero is of ZOE its Jesus! And many of the people of Thailand know that too!

YOUR CALLING

You might be thinking to yourself well I don’t know what God is calling me to? Does he want me to sell all my stuff, and move to Thailand too? Maybe I don’t know. What I do know is that we can start with what we know for sure.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

Every single follower of Jesus is called to make disciples, and we all need courage for this. We can come up with excuse after excuse as to why we can’t or maybe shouldn’t but the reality is that we are called. And if we are called God will always provide the strength, power, and courage to do it if we trust him for it!

I know for me its time to step out a little more, to actually live a life that requires the type of courage that only God can and will provide.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV)

God calls us to be courageous not so that we might boast in our courage. But so that people of every tongue tribe and nation would know, that He is God!