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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Preparing the Army of God, #7
Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. (Joshua 1:6)
Faith is made up of many parts. One of these parts is courage—a willingness to stand up in the face of danger and pain as we press forward in the Lord's will and Word.
Faith, courage, and strength go together in the Lord. Unbelief, fear, and weakness also are partners.
Fear caused the Israelites to displease God to the point that He turned them back into the wilderness for an additional thirty-eight years. Fear is the first-mentioned barrier to entrance into the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:8). Fear and double-mindedness go together. The person who is double-minded, who cannot decide what he wants, cannot receive anything from the Lord.
Satan works through fear and breeds fear. Christ is a Man of courage and imparts courage to His disciples.
Joshua was tempted to fear. Moses no longer was present to speak with God. The burden of the millions of Hebrews rested on Joshua. Bringing the children of Israel into the inheritance for which they had been waiting forty years was a plunge forward into dark waters.
Would Joshua be able to lead the Israelites to victory? Or would he bring them into disaster?
God had sworn to the children of Israel that He would give them a land of milk and honey. God's oath was the guarantee of success. He had given the land to them; but, as often is the case, God assigned a man to work with Himself in the accomplishment of His Divine purpose.
God develops a plan and then He chooses human beings to bring His plan to fruition. The Kingdom of God is not man deciding what is good and then attempting to persuade God to do it. The Kingdom of God is God deciding what is desirable and then guiding people into the obedience and faith that will make it possible for God to accomplish His plan in and through them.
The Lord commanded Joshua to be strong and of a good courage. Christ will enable each of us to overcome fear. He has given us the Spirit of love, of power, and of a sound mind. He commands us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:7)
Notice how the Holy Spirit emphasizes strength and courage. It is the strong, the determined, the courageous who succeed in entering the Kingdom of God. The timid and fearful find it difficult or impossible.
As we wait on the Lord and keep on doing His will to the best of our ability He gives us His strength and courage in place of our strength and courage. The substitution of God's strength and courage for our strength and courage demands that we be brought down to weakness.
It requires the Lord's strength and courage if we are to do what the Scriptures command. In our day many of the Lord's preachers and people have departed from the written Word. Grace has become an excuse for lust and self-will.
To be continued.