What Scares You?
The beginning of Joshua’s leadership is a great example to the believer. In Joshua chapter 1, is where Joshua gets his marching orders from God. The scene is that Moses has just died and Joshua, who was his servant, his ace, his right-hand-man, and oh by-the- way, one of the 2 people who brought back a favorable report on the future territories of Israel, he’s about to take the lead.
Joshua is likely thinking to himself, “how am I going to lead such an emotionally fickle people!?” In chapter 1, God stretches out his desire of Joshua. In three verses, immediately, the Lord God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, or to have courage. Courage is the ability to confront what scares you. Fear, danger, uncertainty, pain and intimidation are all things that fall under the word “scare.” For where the nation of Israel was to go (a war path obliterating their enemies), God needed a man with a spine of steel.
God tells Joshua he will be with him. Joshua’s story is full of battles that were won and internal conflict solved by the wisdom of the Lord. Before David, Joshua was that guy. If we were talking sports, he’s the Michael to your Lebron; the Sugar Ray to your Floyd; the Florence to your Allyson… you get the point.
He, being a God that does nothing without purpose, prepares Joshua by telling him three times to be strong and have courage. Three times to cement it in his spirit. (Mind you, this was before the Holy Spirit showed up on the scene). The word “strong,” translates from chazeq (khä•zak’), in Hebrew, and is used in many forms in the bible, as, to prevail, to repair, to hold (and to be strong). Courage ‘amats (ä•mats’) translates as, to harden, confirm, establish, fortify, steadfastly minded (and to have courage).
In three verses across the beginning of Joshua’s leadership, God gives him a lifetime of instruction. Likewise, God desires us to be strong and courageous – like Joshua! He desires us to increase over our circumstances. In doing so, THAT displays the power of the Lord. He has empowered us, through his grace to do so! Since God knew us before time, our circumstances, situations, pride, mistakes and short-comings of best efforts, DO NOT change the destiny He has for us.
Joshua was more than a man of war. He was a man of victory, obedience, vision and legacy. His life reflected the commission and blessing that God placed over him after the death of the previous leader, Moses.
What has God told you to do?
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)