He needs courage. God tells him to be strong and of good courage, courageous. Etc.
What is courage?
Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount.
With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble.
Joshua is an unevious position. Can you imagine having to fill the shoes of Moses ? Taking the place of a man…who could speak to God through a burning bush…cast down his rod, and have it turn into a snake, and then retrieve it, and find it a rod again. Can you imagine being the predecessor of a man that could stretch out his rod, and divide the Red Sea….a man that could bring water out of a rock when the people died from thirst ?
Not only that…but Joshua now finds himself the leader of a group of people known for murmuring, complaining, backsliding…and wishing they were back where they came from. God now looks at Joshua..and says “You the Man”. There is yet things to accomplish…Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, and through many precarious situations…but now there is the “land of promise” still to be claimed. The inhabitants of the land still must be defeated, and dislodged.
How will Joshua manage to do this ? What does Joshua need in order to fulfil this awesome task ? The answer is that he needs, and has the same thing as did Moses. The power to do such things that Moses did…and to lead as he did are upon Joshua. He has been ordained of God to do this, and God will give to him what he needs to fulfill this calling.
Courage is the foundation of integrity.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon
Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow. ~Dan Rather
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. ~C.S. Lewis
Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne
Webster Defines Courage As:
Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution.
Perhaps one of the most knowledgeable about courage:
Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What do I need that most Christians ain’t got?
Dorothy, Scarecrow, & Tinman: Courage!
Lion: You can say that again! Huh?
Too many of you are like the scarecrow….no brains. A lot of you are like the tin man….no heart.
Some of you are too busy chasing Totos, instead of looking for a Dorothy.
Speaking of lions…..The Lion’s Tail
There was a man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocket knife. Asked why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head, the man replied: “Someone had already done that.”
Is that not the majority of Christians today? We will do that which is easy, not challenging, not dangerous, etc.
But if there is any threat, danger, possibility of injury, we will not stand up.
We need courage.
We need some men with courage. Courage to stand, courage to lead, courage to preach
We need some ladies with courage. Courage to follow, courage to teach, courage to stand.
We need courage to do right! Honesty, Righteousness, Holiness.
We need courage to be real! Don’t be a fake. Don’t put on. Don’t try to be something you’re not.
We need courage to represent Christ! Soul Winning, Bus Routes, In Dorms, At Work, With Family
It’s easy sometimes to be cocky, and pretend to be brave..but what Joshua needed was true bravery, and courage.
God not only directs Joshua to be “strong, and courageous”..but he dictates to him how to be so.
To live the kind of Life that God wants us to in the society that we live in…we too need courage the way that Joshua did…..Sometimes its hard to be strong, and courageous.
One summer evening, during a violent thunderstorm, a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, “Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?” The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. “I can’t dear,” she said, “I have to sleep with Daddy.” A long silence was broken at last by a shaken little voice saying, “The big sissy.”
In this chapter God instructs Joshua 3 times to “be strong, and be courageous”.
Such easy instructions….but how is he to be strong, and courageous ?
Let’s take a look at how Joshua could be “strong, and courageous…and how we can as well.
1. Stand on the Promises
V 3…..Every place….
What an awesome promise ! Though God’s servant Moses is deceased…his plans, and promises are the same.
The God of Moses is the God of Joshua….he makes his promises, he keeps them. If Joshua is to be “strong, and courageous” he must stand upon the promises of the word of God. If we are to accomplish what God calls us, and instructs us to do…we as well must stand on the promises….the problem is many saints are sitting on the premises instead of standing on the promises.
God said everywhere you go, I have given you that place. Wherever I send you, I will make way for you.
God promised to supply your every need. Phil 4:19
God promised to give Grace. II Cor 12:9
God promised to help with our Temptation. I Cor 10:13
God promised us Victory I Cor 15:57
God promised everything will work for good. Rom 8:28
God promised the gates of Hell shall not prevail.
God promised to bless my service.
God promised Salvation, Heaven, Blessing, Holy Spirit,
Need some courage to stand, Stand on the Promises of God.
- Sense the Presence.
V.5 ….as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
How can Joshua lead with confidence, how can he confront the battles that lie ahead ? He can because the same God that was with Moses is with him. A God that will not forsake, and one that will not fail. Every place that the sole of his foot touched was to become their land….and every step that Joshua took God was with him.
Today, if we are children of God, he has promised never to leave us nor to forsake us. He not only is with us…but is in us.
The thing Christians need the most, but miss the least…… The Holy Spirit.
I have God living inside me. The Holy Spirit indwells me.
Listen for just a minute. Let Him speak to your heart and let you know He is there.
How can I have courage? Realize that the Holy Spirit lives inside you.
That same power that healed the sick, raised the dead, conquered Hell and the Grave lives in me.
Sense the Presence of God in your life.
- Stay the Path
If Joshua is to be “strong, and courageous” he must stay the path…he must not turn…he must not compromise…he must not become distracted….he must not become detoured from what the will of God is. He must stay the path set before him. Faithfulness is the key.
Royt Blount, quoted by Karin Winegar in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune When Ralph Houk was manager of the New York Yankees, baseball schedules were even more exacting than they are now, with double-headers almost every week. Occasionally a player would get sick of the grind and approach Houk, asking for permission to sit out a game.
“I know how you feel,” the manager would say genially. “Sure, take the day off, But do me a favor. You’re in the starting lineup. Just play one inning. Then skip the rest of the game.”
The player would honor Houk’s request—and almost invariably get caught up in the spirit of the game and play it out to the end.
Sometimes we’re going to get tired of the grind…feel like giving up…..feel like giving in….but we must stay the path until the end.
God blesses faithfulness ! Compromise leads to chaos….distractions often lead to destruction…but faithfulness leads to fulfillment. Are we being faithful…or is it possible that we’ve gotten off the path that God has called us to follow ?
You want courage, you have got to decide that you are going to stay on the path.
Some of you need to chuck your plan B. Some of you need to just sell out lock, stock, barrel to God.
Decide you are in it to win it. Stay on track and don’t get side tracked.
Determination is a cousin to Courage.
4. Start the Process.
What God had told Joshua would have been no good if he had not begin to assimilate this plan. In this verse, Joshua begins the process. The transfer of leadership has taken place…Joshua believes what God has said..and begins to demonstrate it. He begins his journey of bravery,and courage.
It is not enough simply to know the word of God….sense his presence, we must put into action what he tells us to do. Joshua now begins that process. He takes action….he begins the task of moving forward.
How about us ? We’ve heard the word of God…sensed his presence, and his leading…but are we still just sitting ? What are we waiting for ?
Let’s get going. There is ground to cover, battles to be won, Jobs that are unfinished…..let’s “be strong and courageous” and do it !
We need to get some courage. We need to get filled up with courage.
Stand on the Promises. Sense the Presence. Stay the Path.
But none of that matters if you don’t start.
Realize, there is a dearth of solid I F B young men and ladies that love God, believe the Bible, are separated from the world, and have enough courage to stand for what they believe instead of questioning it.
Do you have courage?
Stand Sense Stay Start.
Clays Mill Road Baptist Church