The Strategy Behind Our Strength

Dear CBC family,

Last week we considered the supernatural strength that God supplies to His people.  Paul prays for each Christian to be “strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16).  It’s a strength that comes from God.  But we are also commanded to “be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13, Eph. 6:10, 2 Tim. 2:1).  God’s charge to Joshua is a perfect example.  Three times he is commanded, “Be strong and courageous!” in Joshua 1:5-9.  In this passage, God supports His command with three attendant truths that can help us be strong for Christ today.

First, the promise of God’s presence.  We frequently face things that seem impossible to accomplish or overcome.  I attempted to pole vault during a track practice once (I was a long sprinter).  My friend put the pole in my hand and said, “Here! There’s the bar. Go over it.”  I stared at it for a minute, then sheepishly walked away.  Joshua had just been handed the responsibility to lead Israel into the promised land.  He needed strength and courage to do it.  But God promised that he wouldn’t be alone, “Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you…Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Second is the promise of success.  This bolsters our hope.  We can persevere through a task we’re confident will yield success.  Athletes push their bodies to the limit in the hope of winning.  Businessmen work endless hours in the hope of profit.  God commands Joshua along with a promise of success.  Of the land, He says, “…I have given it to you” (1:3).  “No man will be able to stand before you…I will not fail you nor forsake you.”  Hope strengthens the heart (Prov. 13:12).  Hope in God’s promise should strengthen our hearts to do what He call us to do. 

Third, God spelled out the primary means for Joshua’s success.  Verses 7 and 8, “…be careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.  This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”  The big task was, “Conquer the land!”  The daily grind was “Do the Word!”  The general principle is still the same for us.  We have a great Great Commission.  But we are simply to be disciples who listen to and live out what Jesus said (Matt. 7:24, Matt. 28:20, James 1:23).  This is the means of spiritual success in whatever we do. 

Are you strong and courageous for Christ today?  How can we be this when life is overwhelming…when we are full of anxiety and fear?  Be strong in the assurance of His presence.  Take courage in the hope of His promises.  Daily trust and obey His Word in whatever you’re facing.

Thanks…and see you Sunday.
Pastor Dave 

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