In my next two blogs, we’ll explore how God’s Word is the power to change us.
In the opening chapter of the book of Joshua we join the story when God gives his command, “be strong and courageous”, to Joshua. God’s command sets rods of strength into Joshua that the task ahead will require.
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:6-7
If we look into the original language of the passage above, we will see that there is a parallel meaning to the words that are used, translated for us “strong” and “courageous.” Both imply strength, but the first is to grow in strength while the other is an attitude of heart, boldness.
God is saying two things to Joshua. First, be strong and grow in strength as you pursue and take hold of the promises that were given. Strength comes through the process of conquest. As we see God’s promises come forth we are encouraged and grow in strength. We have strength for the greater things, and resolve that does not give up in the face of difficulty.
Strength begins in the heart. If we lack courage of heart, our arm will falter in the face of opposition. God knows the strength needed to complete the task. Conquering resolve begins with unwavering faith in God. Our actions, not just our words will display the true courage of our heart.
The second verse seems similar to the first, but its intention is different. The first command is for Joshua to complete the assignment of giving the children of God their promised inheritance. The second command in essence says, ‘follow God in all that you do.’ In this regard God tells Joshua to be “very courageous.”
There are two types of courage.
(1) The first is demonstrated as we confront the difficulties of life and conquer those difficulties by faith in God’s promises to us. It takes strength and determination; it takes true faith.
(2) The second requires that we don’t compromise what God has told us in order to achieve the promised outcome. In other words, yoke your courage with spiritual integrity.
It is spiritual compromise to negotiate God’s commands. Compromise will always result in a faulty foundation for us and for the generations that follow us.
Be strong and courageous in apprehending His promises. Be strong and very courageous to follow God’s ways in how you take hold of the promises, especially when things get rough.