I believe of all things that is needed to live for Jesus today we need ‘courage’.
Whether it be raising a family, being a witness and testimony in your workplace, living out your purpose, allowing Christ to bring you into freedom –whatever it may be – all the same, we need God’s courage. This is not the same courage that is required to bungy jump, or to paddle into a cyclone swell. This courage has a whole lot more at stake…YOU, YOUR FUTURE, YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR DESTINY.
If like me you’ve tried in your own strength to ‘work up’ courage you (like me) may have failed. The courage that we will study briefly in these coming days is not a feeling or an emotion that has been brewed up by self effort. But rather a strong reality of confidence, trust and reliance on the Word of God, producing an UNCOMMON COURAGE to walk through whatever challenge or season you are walking through. Over the next 7 days we will use Joshua 1 as our key text to allow Christ to build renewed courage into our lives for the year ahead.
God Bless – Jono
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them —to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates —all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
The Lord spoke to Joshua who was now being commissioned to lead the people of Israel and take over from Moses. The first battle that Joshua needed courage for was to overcome personal disappointments. Joshua and Moses were close; he was his right hand man. Now he needs to lead millions of people but before that he is required to lead his own heart. What personal disappointments do you have to walk through? We all have them. Can I encourage you in Jesus name? Don’t let today’s disappointments dictate tomorrow’s victories and your destiny. Be courageous enough to keep stepping beyond your hurts, shortcomings and heartaches. Receive inner confidence of what’s ahead by Gods promise “I will never leave you or forsake you”.
6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
After God promising that he would never leave him or forsake him he commanded Joshua to “be bold (strong) and courageous”. If there is a life verse for you this year can I suggest that this could be a great one for you. As a follower of Christ we must be BOLD and COURAGEOUS. The fact that God is in us and with us needs to stir confidence to take steps towards what God has for our future.
A bold typeface is when a word or words are darkened or have heavy strokes – it stands out. Sometimes boldness is connected to brashness or arrogance. Can I suggest to you to look at ‘boldness’ differently and begin to see the life of a follower of Christ as one that is filled with ‘UNCOMMON COURAGE’ – BOLDNESS.
It takes uncommon courage to live for Jesus. Standing in a world that sits, like Daniel refusing to bow to any other Gods. This inner strength is needed for you to step into what God has for you this year.
3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
Courage always requires a step. Taking a step sometimes feels like you’re taking a risk. When you align your steps with God’s Word and what he has promised you, you never need to second guess or doubt the result of the outcome. I’ve heard faith defined as “stepping into what seems to be a void and finding a solid rock beneath your feet”. It took courage and faith to believe “wherever” that they walked God was going to give to them.
Sometimes our ‘poverty mentality’ settles for a lot less than what God has for us. “I don’t want to walk too far”… “I don’t wont to believe too much”…“I don’t want to make it hard for God”…
Friend can I encourage you to take big courageous steps of faith in all aspects of your life? You won’t extend God beyond his resource, power, ability or knowledge. Don’t settle for any less than what God has for you.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
This is where courage in God deviates from just having an adventurous, risky spirit as would someone who’s climbed Mt Everest for example. Our courage is connected directly with the Word of God. In Romans 10:17 it says “faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God”. We read or hear the Word of God, our courage is then seen by how we obey and apply that Word to our lives. The Word is full of promise and purpose for you and and your future. As you hear these promises allow Christ’s courage to fill your heart so that you can obey those scriptures and apply them to your life, and you will step into your promised future as did Joshua.
8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
One of the keys to the Word taking traction in your life is through speaking it and meditating on it. I believe for many of us freedom, healing, breakthrough and purpose are on the other side of you speaking the Word of the Lord over your own life, family and future. Not any random scripture (although all scripture is God breathed) but specific scripture of your next step, your next victory, your future promise. Courage will come into your spirit as you do this. A Godly view of meditation is when we allow the Word to roll over and over in our mind until it drops into your heart. Courage to live for Christ in whatever aspect cannot be achieved separated from the Word of God.
As you receive the Word, you are receiving Jesus and Jesus is the answer to whatever you are stepping into.
9 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.”
“Have I not commanded you?” this is a rhetorical question that is emphasizing the authority of the speaker.
When we respond obediently to the command of the Lord to be “strong and courageous”, it communicates something of our love and trust in him. According to the scriptures fear is attached to our lives before Christ (Romans 8:15). Our new response in life is not to be ‘afraid’ before we take the steps, or discouraged while we are taking the steps. Rather as we walk closely with our heavenly Father his words and presence connect with us as his children, this closeness brings us confidence to step into the future without fear or timidity.
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’
We see the courage of Joshua was the catalyst to lead the Israelites into the promises that God had for them. When you’re strong and courageous how many people you will affect? It’s been said, “What walks in Father’s runs in their children”. Your courage to step into freedom and your God purpose will be the catalyst for many others around you, possibly including your family and those closest to you. In the book of Acts courage and boldness were always connected to the working of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to work in your life this year in a fresh dynamic bringing fresh courage to overcome and to live for Christ.