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Be Courageous

March 8, 2013

Atlanta Mansion

Your Home in Heaven?

Text: “Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them”. Joshua 1:6

There were big sandals for Joshua to fill. He was tagged as the successor of Moses, the man of God. Moses had delivered the tribes of Israel from bondage, accepted the commandments, confirmed the covenant, parted the Red Sea..and on the list goes.  Now all Joshua had to do was take his unseasoned army against seven nations in Canaan, to dispossess them, and settle the Israelites there.  Do you think Joshua might have had a little anxiety about the task?

God knew Joshua’s fears and spoke bracing words to bolster him. Twice more in this chapter (verses 7 & 9), and several more times in the book,  God encourages Joshua to “be courageous.” Courage, every Christian should have this quality. Our pilgrimage to heaven is threatening and Herculean. Satan menaces us with almost overwhelming trials. He constructs many obstacles to deter us. He tempts us to abandon our journey. To be sure, the challenges are real and onerous. Let us face the challenges before us trusting the God who walks with us.

Joshua’s stimulus for courage is available to us also.  That source is God. God fortified Joshua’s courage with a promise: “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you”.  Joshua 1:5b That kind of courage does not come upon you in the night when you are restless. It can not be purchased in a health food store. No self-help book can instruct you how to have courage. Courage comes by faith in the all powerful God! Keep close to God and you will find bravery from His companionship.

Courage is the hallmark of the soldier. His courage is enhanced by intense physical training. Our courage is enhanced by intense spiritual training. Paul exhorts us: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil”.  Ephesians 6:10-11 Our struggle is against a superior power. If we are to endure, it will be by the equipment furnished by God and our own fidelity to the battle.

Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell in his book “Lone Survivor”, relates some of his training as a Seal. To say his description was excruciating is a gross understatement. I would have quit at lunchtime the first day, if not before. Less than 30% of the class graduated. I admire the men who endured that training and all their valor. Have we the persistence and courage to graduate? Paul gives us the components of the Christian soldier’s armor.  Ephesians 6:14-20 Let us fortify ourselves with courage so as to serve  Jesus.

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