STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. There he was standing on the bank of the river Jordan. Moses was dead and now there was a new leader. Joshua was standing, maybe bowing, before God and getting his instructions as the new leader. What a humbling, awesome experience that must have been as Joshua listened to God and heard what God was going to do with him and the people of Israel. God uttered these words to Joshua three times in a space of moments and five times in the book of Joshua, “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6,7,9). This was not a time to be afraid, weak, timid or retreating. This was a time to act boldly, face the enemy and put all the muscle and resources of God and Israel to work. It was a time for new leaders and new heroes to step forward.
This is true of the Church today. We need people to stand for Jesus, be heroes for God’s cause and advance the kingdom of God. We need men and women to serve God with abandon, fight the spiritual battle and lead the church into the future. We need churches to be strong and courageous in every part of our country and among every ethnic group. God gave Joshua the command to be strong and courageous but He also gave Joshua three reasons why he should be strong and courageous.
God does not ask us to do anything that He has not provided for. God told Joshua that He would give the people of Israel “every place where you set your foot”, and God’s promise was based on this fact, “As I promised Moses” (Joshua 1:3 NIV). When God makes a promise He keeps it in every generation. And as God’s Church we need to act on His promises. Often we humans fail to keep our promises but God never does. God told Joshua that “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you” (Joshua 1:5 NIV). God was with Moses in power and so would He be with Joshua. His power was sufficient to meet every need and overcome every obstacle. And God gives us His power through the work of the Holy Spirit to accomplish great things for God today. God promised Joshua, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 NIV). When God is with you then you can do whatever God commissions you to do. Jesus gave us the same promise as well. He is always with us. The Church needs a new generation of leaders like Joshua, both male and female, so that the Church can do God’s appointed work of building His Kingdom. We need a new generation to be “strong and courageous” in serving God. Are you part of the new generation?