“Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” (Joshua 1:6 NKJV).
When God chose Joshua to be the next leader of the children of Israel after the death of Moses, He gave him a clear mandate to lead the people over the Jordan to possess their Promised Land and to divide it to them as their inheritance.
God also assured Joshua in clear terms that He has given him every place that the sole of his foot will tread upon and that no man shall be able to stand before him all the days of his life. God further committed Himself to be with Joshua as He was with Moses and promised never to leave him nor forsake him (Jos. 1:3-5).
The only thing that God commanded and demanded from Joshua is to be strong and very courageous. God repeatedly commanded Joshua to be strong and very courageous.
6 “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
7 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. (NKJV).
Likewise, God commands and demands that all believers today should be very strong and courageous.
Why did God repeatedly command Joshua to be strong and very courageous?
What sort of strength and courage did God expect Joshua to possess?
Do believers today also need to be strong and very courageous?
How can we be strong and courageous today?
Let us explore the Scripture for right answers to these questions.
First, God would have Joshua to be strong and courageous for the sake of obedience.
God said to Joshua, “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” (Jos. 1:6-7 NKJV).
If Joshua would observe to obey all God’s commandments given through Moses without leaving anything undone, he would need to be strong, bold and brave. If Joshua would not be influenced negatively, distracted or discouraged from following the LORD, he would need to be fearless and courageous.
The Scripture bore witness to Joshua’s complete obedience.
15 As the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses. (NKJV).
What was Joshua’s secret?
He was strong and very courageous!
Partial obedience or outright disobedience to God’s Word is a clear indication of spiritual weakness and fearfulness. It takes courage to obey God in the face of opposition!
Many believers today are walking in disobedience to God primarily because they are afraid of someone or something.
You need inner strength, boldness and courage to fully obey God’s Word, to step out to do God’s will, and to stand for truth, justice, and righteousness in this evil and perverse generation.
Complete obedience to God at all times and in all circumstances will require you to be very strong, fearless, bold and courageous.
It is mostly fear that hinders you from being an effective witness for Christ, from acting upon God’s Word, and from taking a giant leap of faith in the pursuit of God’s purpose and vision for your life.
Apostle Paul charged his son in the faith, Timothy, to be strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ so that he may be able to “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” (2 Tim. 4:2-4 NKJV).
Any servant of God who is not strong, bold and fearless cannot preach and teach the whole truth of God’s Word continually and consistently to today’s backsliding Church and evil world.
The spiritual and moral pollution, corruption or degeneration that stares us in the face today in our society is primarily as a result of the spiritual and moral weaknesses, spinelessness, and timidity of many of our Church leaders.
When and where they should have publicly stood up and spoken the truth, they kept silent. When they should have rebuked, corrected and disciplined the erring believers, they were fearful.
Many youths today have gone so deep in rebellion, immorality and all sorts of evil practices because their parents were not strong, bold, and courageous enough to rebuke, correct, and discipline them early in life.
Many souls in the yet to be reached communities are perishing today without being reached with the gospel of Christ because many believers whom God has called to reach out to them are held down and back by fear of persecution and death.
Like Joshua, you also have great promises of God and His abiding presence with you – the Holy Spirit. But, God will not compel you to obey His Word or to step out in faith to pursue His purpose or vision for your life.
The choice and decision to draw strength from God’s unfailing promises and abiding presence is entirely yours.
Second, God commanded Joshua to be strong and very courageous for the sake of the inheritance He has promised the children of Israel.
God said to Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” (Jos. 1:6 NKJV).
God had called the children of Israel out of Egypt to obtain an inheritance (the Canaan Land) which He had promised Abraham their father long time before they were born (Gen. 13:14-18).
Joshua’s assignment was to lead the children of Israel to possess the Promised Land and to divide it to them as their inheritance.
Although God had given the Canaan Land to the children of Israel as their inheritance, yet Joshua must be strong and brave enough to lead the people to fight, overcome, subdue and dispossess the kings and inhabitants of the land before he could possess and divide the land to the children of Israel as their inheritance (Jos. 12:1-24).
No one can fulfil his divine assignment in life without being very strong in the spirit and mind, bold, fearless and courageous because there would definitely be many challenges, oppositions and adversaries for him to confront and overcome in the way.
The believers in Christ are called to obtain “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven.” (1 Pet. 1:4 NKJV).
Faith in Christ “has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” (Col. 1:12 NKJV).
As God’s children, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). However, we should not expect to appropriate and enjoy our goodly inheritance in Christ without any challenge, confrontation or opposition from the devil.
Before Joshua could divide the Promised Land to the children of Israel as their inheritance, he had to engage and subdue many powerful kings in battles.
Similarly, before we would take nations for Christ as our inheritance we would need to engage and subdue in spiritual battles the principalities and powers that rule over nations. We cannot be slothful and fearful and yet expect to experience victory in spiritual warfare.
Many cities, nations, kingdoms and territories are yet to be taken and possessed for Christ because of our spiritual laziness, weariness, and fearfulness. This is why God is asking us today to be strong and very courageous (Eph. 6:10-12).
Although Joshua was strong and courageous enough to obey all the commandments of God that Moses gave him, yet he was not strong and courageous enough to lead the children of Israel to possess all their inheritance.
1 Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.
2 “This is the land that yet remains: all the territory of the Philistines and all that of the Geshurites. (NKJV).
Truly, Joshua fought and defeated many kings and possessed many cities, but he died without possessing all the land which God had given to him to possess for the children of Israel. Joshua failed to possess all the territory of the Philistines.
Consequently, the Philistines became a thorn in the flesh to the children of Israel when they eventually settled down in Canaan. Many tribes also had to share their inheritance or land with their enemies (Judg. 1:1-36).
Beloved, God is commanding you today to be strong, bold and courageous so that you may obey and act upon His Word, pursue and fulfil your divine purpose or assignment in life, and to appropriate and enjoy all your inheritance in Christ.
All things are now yours in Christ (1 Cor. 3:21). God’s power has given to you all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). Therefore, choose today to be strong and courageous so that you may begin to appropriate and enjoy all that are already yours in Christ.
Where and how can you find enough strength and courage to obey and act upon God’s Word, to successfully accomplish your divine assignment in life, and to appropriate and enjoy all your inheritance in Christ?
Find out in the next piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I choose today to be strong, bold, and very courageous that I may fully obey and act upon Your Word, pursue and fulfil my purpose in life, and to appropriate and enjoy all my inheritance in Christ. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and strengthen me to be bold and very courageous, in Jesus’ name. Amen.