Joshua 1:6-9 (New Living Translation)
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Courage: what a powerful word. It brings so many impressions; respect, strength, assurance, endurance, and then…fear! At first glance it seems that a common woman such as I could never be considered courageous. Its requirements seem so steep—one who lives a fearless life and doesn’t doubt her decisions or motives. (Where’s the exit? I don’t belong here!)
Let’s take a moment to peel back the layers of courage, break it down; look at its core. Perhaps we will find a secret there that the courageous people have discovered. Did they uncover the secret of courage over a period of time, or did it appear without preparation or process? Are some created with it in their DNA? Is courage a gift for only a few?
Our Lord tells us three times in Joshua 1:6-9 to be “strong and courageous”. In verse seven He restates it adding the word “very”. Did you notice what the Lord does between those three commands? He gives us the blueprint for courage! He teaches us how to achieve it.
God first tells us in this passage that anytime we are called by Him to a work it will require courage. We will become weary at times. It will require Him to accomplish the task. Therefore we must set our minds to the concept of following behind Him in His plan, instead of dragging Him along with our plan, and asking Him to agree with it.
In verse seven we find the blueprint. The Word of God holds all the principles, foundation, and tools of decision making. It gives perfect direction. When the waters get muddy, it is God’s Word that will clear them. The path becomes visible when placed within the parameters of God’s Word. He will never direct you to compromise your faith or your integrity in order to accomplish His will. Straying from His truth will blemish your integrity and God’s name, and will bring failure to your task. By staying committed to the Truth, “neither turning to the left or to the right,” we are assured success.
Following the blueprint for courage brings God’s promise of victory and success. The outcome of our efforts is already known. What a promise!
Pray: Heavenly Father, help me to discover how to apply your blueprint in your plans for me. I want to serve and please you, and I don’t want fear to keep me from accomplishing your task for me. Thank you for your promise of success when I follow you.
About the Writer:
Pam Brewer is the Director of Women’s Ministry at First Baptist Dallas. To learn more about Women’s Ministry click here.