Be strong and courageous…
Be strong and very courageous…
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged…
Only be strong and courageous!
Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18
Have you ever been afraid, truly afraid of something or someone? Along comes some well meaning person who pats you on the back and says, “Don’t be afraid. What are you worried about? Be of good courage!”
Did that make you feel suddenly strong and courageous?
If you’re like me, the answer would be NO. Their little pep talk didn’t do you any good because they didn’t equip you with any reasons why NOT to fear. Your finances were still in shambles; the cancer was still there; your child was still in danger; you still felt unprepared to make that speech or face your boss; the lawsuit was still pending. You needed a reason for confidence in the face of whatever makes you tremble and your heart race.
Courage is not ignoring our fears and pretending they don’t exist, but finding a reason for hope despite the opposition. The giants who lived in the Promised Land when Joshua and Caleb scouted it out forty years earlier were still living there (see Num. 13:27-33). They were still strong, established, organized, and equipped fighters. And forty years later, the Israelites were still nomads struggling for a firm grasp of their identity as the chosen people of God.
I love what God does for Joshua in this first chapter of the book. Four times in eighteen verses Joshua is told to be strong and courageous, but more importantly, he is told WHY.
I have a plan and you’re going to be ok: In verses five and six God promises Joshua no one would be able to defeat him. He would be with Joshua just like He was with Moses. And God paints a heartening picture of the future, “You will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
Obedience is the key to success: In verses seven and eight, God sends Joshua on a specific path to victory. Our world tells us to be tolerant of whatever rules people choose to live by. This echoes the sad words in the book of Judges that “everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). This led to rape, idolatry, immorality, and murder. With the recent Las Vegas massacre, bombs, school shootings, white supremacy rallies, and violent protests, it’s evident we’re headed the same direction. That issomething to be afraid of! But if we fill our hearts with God’s Word and live by it, fear has no place in our life. God will lead the way.
I’ll be with you: It’s one thing to go to war against a land full of giants like a Hobbit against Orks. It’s quite another to go in God’s power. In verse nine God puts a stamp of authority on Joshua’s mission. David had the confidence to kill Goliath by the same power of Almighty God that he killed a lion and a bear while defending his flock (1 Sam. 17:36-37). When we’re in the center of God’s will, no power can stand against us. No giant is too big.
We support you: In verse eighteen, the people join in. Don’t you love how we can gain courage from God’s people? When I’m feeling small and afraid, my brothers and sisters cheer me on and urge me forward in spiritual battle. Here, the people not only encourage Joshua to claim the Promised Land, but commit to doing it with him.
So today, if you fear entering spiritual warfare for your community, workplace, church, or family, I’m not going to tell you to be courageous because there’s no opposition. We have an enemy who wants to steal our joy, kill our faith, and destroy our hope for eternity, and he is armed and ready for battle. What I am going to tell you is:
Be strong and courageous BECAUSE:

God created you to love and pray for the people in your area. He has a plan and you’re going to be ok. It is His desire to give you victory against the enemy, and He will be with you.
He honors those who honor Him. If you choose to walk in obedience to God, He will give you success against the enemy.
God does not send you to war against the unseen spiritual forces by your own power. We plead the blood of Jesus our Lord, who died and rose again to conquer sin, death, and all the powers of hell. It is in His name and by His Holy Spirit that we walk with confidence.
Finally, you’re not alone. If you a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you are part of a worldwide Church who daily strive in prayer against the powers of evil. Meet with them, pray with them, and encourage each other. When we are feeling weak, we need to know others are committed to God, and to us.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21
#bestrongandcourageous #donotfear #prayerwalking #spiritualwarfare #claimingterritory #halloween #AllSaintsDay #Joshua1 #Rom12:21