Be Courageous … December 27, 2020
Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 ESV
Do you recall a few Sundays ago when I taught that there are absolute truths and principles of truth in the Bible? I would like to teach today concerning a truth that is principle-based. An absolute truth is that God is omnipresent, meaning he is everywhere in the universe at the same moment in time. (Psalm 139:8-12) The verse above was a verse that was for Joshua at a given time and for a given purpose, but the principle of God’s presence is true for all his children. The outcome for Joshua was that they would go in and possess the land, for it was a fulfillment of God’s promise. What does this Biblical principle of truth mean for the Christian today? I believe it means we trust in the promises of God for us. It does not teach that life is going to be easy or that it will go the way we think it should. Biblical truths tend to hinge on other Biblical truths throughout the Bible, meaning God uses the full testimony of his word for our encouragement. The words for Joshua were to…… Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 ESV. In truth, these words are for us today but with a different outcome for each Christian’s life, as God works to bring about his ultimate purpose according to his will. We are to……….
Be Strong and Courageous:
The strength and courage that we experience as Christians, is not our own but that which comes from God. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Ephesians 6:10 ESV. When dressing for battle in this present darkness, we dress in the armor that is provided by God. It is not a physical armor, but rather a spiritual armor that will result in God’s strength empowering us to be strong and courageous. When we are outfitted in the armor of God’s strength, we will be able to stand. (Ephesians 6:13-18 ) When we dress in the full armor it is because we do so intentionally for we are not to pick and choose which pieces to put on. When wearing this armor, it is to claim an allegiance of Holiness to the Holy God. It is important to remember that when you are not fully dressed in God’s spiritual armor, you cannot expect to experience the victory and protection his armor provides.
Do Not Be Frightened or Dismayed:
Fear can be a strong tool in the hand of the enemy. When a person is dismayed, it is generally because they are worried about unexpected events that might occur. So fear and dismay go hand in hand causing a person to experience the overwhelming emotion of defeat before it has even happened. This, I believe, is one of the Devil’s tactics in defeating the Christian. Isn’t this what happened with the spies that went into the promised land? They came back in fear of the giants that they perceived they would face on their own. A person, dressed in the armor of God, knows that they are equipped for battle but is aware that the battle / victory belongs to the Lord. (Proverbs 21:31)
Acknowledge His Presence:
It is absolutely necessary…. imperative….. important…. and any other word of like meaning that you might know, to acknowledge that the presence of the Lord is with you. With such knowledge your focus will be upon him and the battle will seem much smaller. This is, of course, if you view God as awesome, mighty, and without an equal, and in faith believe that he is God of the past, present, and future. This, I believe, is the way Joshua saw God. He remembered the plagues in Egypt, the Red Sea crossing , the manna, and the many other ways God had provided for and delivered them. The experience he had with God enabled him to trust and believe God when he said to go in and possess the land for he knew God was with them.
The Biblical principle of truth that we can know is that God wants us to live strong with courage, and not to live in fear, and to acknowledge his presence with us in every situation of life. We must not focus upon the things over which we have no control but rather focus on God who is in control of all things. The way we can accomplish this is to …. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV. To know God in the manner I just described is to know Him more every day by reading the Bible— His words for us. The Bible is not an accidental book; rather it is an intentional book of absolute truth and principles of truth that we can use to grow in our relationship and knowledge of who God was, is, and will be in our life when we believe in faith and surrender everything to him. We will possess all that God intends for us to have when we take the steps of faith … believing by faith in every situation when God says...I Got This.
Because fo His Grace ~ Pastor David