JOSHUA 1:7-9: “Above all, be strong and very courageous to observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” CSB
OBSERVATION: What is the most courageous thing you can do in life? Is it to fight the battles of life? Is it to follow your dreams? Is it to live up to your full potential? All of these require great courage. Yet, they are not the most courageous thing that you can do in life.
Joshua was faced with an ominous task. Moses was now dead, and it was his job to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Their call was not simply a journey. It was a conquest. The minute they set their foot on the other side of the Jordan river they would begin to enter into battle with the enemy, with those who opposed the Lord. Joshua needed much more than simply knowing he had succeeded Moses. Joshua needed courage.
The Lord speaks personally to Joshua several times with these words of exhortation – “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous.” Joshua needed to hear these words and take them to heart. However, how was Joshua to fulfill this command? Was it simply a pep talk by the Lord? Was the Lord asking Joshua to stand up straight and muster up the courage to enter into battle? Or, was the Lord asking Joshua to do something that would require even greater courage?
The call to be strong and courageous to Joshua was not a call to face the battles ahead without fear. As we read the text we discover is was focused on something entirely different. The battle without was already won. The Lord promised Joshua that He would go before him. However, it was the battle within that the Lord was calling Joshua to win. It was the battle within that would take strength and courage to win. It was the battle to abide in God’s Word, to meditate upon it day and night, and to walk in obedience to it every moment of every day!
- “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous?”
This is the true battle that is raging against our souls. The enemy knows that if he can win this battle all the remaining battles will be easy to win. Jesus gave the same call to His disciples that was given to Joshua. The call was given for the same purpose, to overcome the attack of the enemy. It was not a call to personal strength. It was a call to fidelity to His Word.
- “Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 CSB
A life that is surrendered to the truth of God’s Word, that seeks first the Kingdom of God by viewing all of life through the lens of Scripture, is a life that is strong and courageous. It is a life that will walk in personal and moral freedom. It is a life that will prosper in all that the Lord is calling and desiring to do.
- “Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Psalms 1:2-3 CSB
Today, we don’t need strength and courage to fight the battles that have already been won. If you read the end of the Book you will find – the Lord wins! There is no doubt that Jesus is and will be victorious. However, we need strength and courage to abide in His Word. We need strength and courage to meditate upon His Word. And we need strength and courage to obey His Word. And here is the wonderful truth. He has promised to give it to those who ask!
- “But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:6-10 CSB
Lord, this morning I hear Your call to be strong and courageous. I humble myself before You and ask you for greater grace. Greater grace to submit to You. Greater grace to abide in Your Word. Greater grace to meditate upon it day and night. And, greater grace to obey it and to walk in its truth. By Your greater grace I will obey the call,
- “Be strong and courageous!”
In Jesus Name!