Strong and Courageous

 6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 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. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey your words, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!” – Joshua 1

Moses was dead. God gives his instructions to Joshua with a reminder three times: be strong and courageous. Hmmmm. Must infer that there were times ahead when Joshua would be tempted to be weak and scared. That was not the kind of actions God needed from a leader. He needed strength and courage.

Joshua then reveals the instructions to Israel. They were set to enter the land that God had promised them 40 years earlier. The people of Israel respond that they will do whatever Joshua says. In an interesting twist they tell Joshua to be strong and courageous.

So here is Joshua with a command from God, his leader, to be strong and courageous. At the same time, the people Joshua is leading are asking him to be strong and courageous. All sides requesting strength and courage. Why? So Joshua could be man of the year? Nope. One simple reason. The mission depended on it.

In positions of leadership, one of the things God demands of us is that we be full of strength and courage. At the same time there are people that we lead who look at us. They desire us to be full of strength and courage. It is an expectation and a mark of leadership. Who wants to follow someone who is weak and scared?

A final observation. If strength and courage is all based on ourselves, we are in trouble. We will soon be found out. I gravitate toward people of strength and courage. Once I find the source of that strength and courage, I decide is I will follow that person. If the strength and courage is based on money, fame, self, or blind stupidity, I’m moving on. I don’t have time to waste following someone who does not find strength and courage in God. Why? Because if we find all we need in ourselves, our mission is off-focus. My strength and courage comes from the God whose mission I am on.

Sometimes I get off focus. Sometimes I feel weak and scared. What if God checks out? Can I be strong then? In the times when I get to having a little pity party for Scot, here is another gem to remember from today’s reading

I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
PS 37:25

God, thanks for the great reminder today that I can hold my head up high. I must hold my head up high. I want to lead with strength. I want to lead with courage. I want to serve if your cause, to make your name famous. Help me lead in such a way that others are draw to you and live a life of strength and courage, all for your mission.

[tags]strength, courage, weak, fear, devotions, Psalm 37, Joshua, Bible[/tags]

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