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​I Will be Strong and Courageous!

​I Will be Strong and Courageous!

Posted by Linda Presley on 27th Feb 2024

The Commission

The Holy Scriptures takes the reader without hesitation from the moment of Mose’s death, from mourning over his loss, immediately into the LORD’S purposed plans for Joshua’s succession duties (Deut. 34:9). God’s plan is continually moving forward. In the Old Testament Book of Joshua, the central themes are about being strong and courageous. Additionally, the LORD teaches that He keeps His promises. God’s plans and purposes truly continue without interruption. Joshua was called into the battle where Moses had left off. This was all according to the LORD’s will. It was not a new charge, but a continuing one. The individuals had changed, however the Divine Leader had not. Joshua knew what his marching orders were. He had developed comradeship with the men he led under Moses’ guidance. They in turn put their faith in the LORD and followed Joshua in confidence. They too, knew what was expected of them as they had been trained well in the Scriptures and in battle. Joshua’s focus was on serving sacrificially for the LORD. His path was prepared by God through Moses. Joshua was a superb general. He had become wise and courageous in his faith. He understood what the LORD desired from him. He understood what military life demanded of him. He knew what was needed to lead an army to defeat the enemy living in Canaan, and take possession of the Promised Land. After each battle, he used time and the terrain wisely to prepare his men for the next battle.The strategies were well known to Joshua. In step with his military calling, he also poured out prayer to God, seeking His wisdom.

Joshua was given the same great promises and assurances God had given to Moses. The trials Joshua faced were purposeful and from the LORD. Joshua ultimately learned in all that evil can bring, the promises of God never fail. He learned and lived out the Truths of God’s words...

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9.  

Joshua took into his soul the Voice of the LORD, I will not fail nor forsake you. Be strong, be of good courage.

Courage without God is like a leaking balloon. It will eventually collapse. Courage without God is arrogance, not courage. Courage in Christ’s hands encompasses the mind and spirit which helps individuals to face their fears, dangers, and all kinds of life challenges and battles. Courage fades when it is not rooted on the Person of Jesus.

Joshua was assigned a divine duty and given a charge to be strong and courageous. As a gifted and experienced soldier he understood the need for strength in the face of enemies. And as a commander he understood the importance of displaying both strength and courage to those he led. He and his soldiers were armed to do battle, just as US soldiers today are armed when called to defend this country. Joshua was also armed with God’s divine Word. The LORD’S Word brings comfort, hope, inspiration and commands of faith and service to Him and others.

Like Joshua Christians have Christ’s living Word of promises. Both Christ-centered soldiers and civilians can put on the whole armor of Jesus to meet each battle (Eph. 6:11-18). The Lord’s strength will supply calmness for the heart, and assurance for the soul. This will allow the mind of the Christian soldier and civilian to put action into Christ’s plans.

The military tools used today are quite different from those of Joshua’s era. Joshua and his troops most likely carried shields. Today’s Christian soldiers carry both spiritual and tangible shields. Many Christian soldiers carry a pocket-sized Bible, which fits perfectly into their camouflage uniforms. Many choose to wear Christian jewelry. Both men and women serving in the military often choose a cross necklace or specialized dog tag with favorite Bible verses inscribed to remind them from Whom their strength and courage is rooted upon ... Christ Jesus. Soldiers wear a military dog tag with identifying information. Civilians also wear dog tags often in remembrance of loved ones. Both Christian soldiers and civilians wear symbols that remind themselves of their faith and trust in the resurrected LORD. Shields of Strength has designed classic and modern Christian jewelry for military and civilians. Women’s and men’s cross pendants, with curbed chains, heart cross necklaces and military dog tags all with inspiring bible verses make inspiring gifts. These symbols represent Christ’s grace, love, and mercy.

Joshua loved God, and poured out prayers as he meditated upon His precepts and the charge given to him (v8). He knew he was not above God’s Laws. He also understood no one including himself is indispensable. Just as a battlefield General is today, under the command of a geographical Combatant Commander, Joshua knew from Whom his commission was from, his God and LORD.

What else does Joshua’s life with the LORD teach people today? As previously noted it teaches the importance of setting aside daily time to seek the LORD’S direction in all endeavors. Joshua revealed the importance of spending time in prayer, and meditating upon the Word. Not just occasionally, but each day seeking His guidance. The LORD’S message through Joshua’s life points to Christ Jesus as the believer’s encouragement. The God of the universe is 3-in-1. God, the Son and the Holy Spirit in one Person, the Trinity.

The Scriptures direct believers to trust in Him and His assurances, do not be afraid, lean upon Him, and follow Him. The messages from God become clear as the indwelling Holy Spirit reveals Christ’s thoughts for His own.The Spirit teaches and guides the believer in all the LORD’S Truths. He gives knowledge and guides the believer. The Holy Spirit also helps Christians in their weakness and intercedes for them. With time and clarity of purpose, the believer’s walk with Jesus grows deeper. It is in those moments that the believer can begin to discover divine knowledge.

What frightens you? How do you deal with fear? What areas do you need to undergird your faith in Christ Jesus? Joshua was under the command and authority of the LORD. It is the same for every believer today. Joshua, being human, must not always have understood just how he was going to accomplish the challenges before him. Sometimes he needed to wait for the LORD’S perfect timing. It is the same for believers today. Military and civilians face moments of loneliness, fear, and hardships. It is easy to feel downcast, overwhelmed by life’s battles. Reading about the lives of those in the Bible can help guide and open the heart, mind, and soul. Reading the Bible helps the believer to better know Jesus. Faith shored up, and His message of hope, grace, love, and mercy merged into the believer’s life. For the believer it is not a chore or something to check off on a To Do List. It is sitting for a while in the company of the LORD. The believer can have a sense of soul comradery with those who came before and sat at His feet. And spiritually focused can reach into Heaven and consider the blessed treasures awaiting each from out of His mighty right hand.

Take time to seek the answers to what is most challenging for you. There are amazing Truth-based commentaries available to assist in digging deeper into the Word. Perhaps there is a particular topic in your life that you are struggling to face and change. Kenny Vaughn, founder of Shields of Strength, has authored several books that will add to your encouragement. The themes touch upon living a life of strength and courage. This and more are presented in detail from the life experiences Kenny himself faced. In and with Jesus, Kenny let go of fear, gained strength in the Lord and went beyond what he could not have imagined without Jesus.

This is part one of a two-part series on courage and strength. Please follow this link to 
David Dodd (ret. Col) for part 2.