BE STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS


GCC MESSAGE

13TH MARCH 2016

Text:  Joshua 1: 1-9


Introduction:

AN ENCOUNTER WITH GOD ALWAYS LEADS TO A CALL

Isaiah: When Isaiah met God he asked him, WHOM SHALL I SEND?
Esther met God through her uncle Mordecai, and the call was: to go before the king to plead for God’s people.

Moses. When he met God in a burning bush the call was to take God’s people from Egypt to the Promised Land.
 
Paul met God on the road to Damascus and the eventual call was to reach the gentiles with the Gospel.
Daniel’s call was to serve in a country whose leaders did not know God.
Joshua’s call was to take God’s people into the Promised Land.

I.                  A Command to arise and Step out.
It is always a call to action.
Joshua had every reason not to act.

Moses had so much power that Joshua did not have. He could put down his rod and it becomes a snake. He had seen God face to face. He could speak to a rock and water comes out, he actually was used of God to part the Red sea. Joshua was just a servant of Moses, he was not Moses.

Greatness happens only to those who hear God’s word and they arise.

Why Did Joshua have to arise?
The future of Israel depended on him taking those steps.
2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. [1]
We only experience God’s miracles as we take steps. You stand up and move, then the miracle happens.  You step on the land and then you possess it.

You do nothing you get nothing.

6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. [2]

We hold the keys to the future of those that we are leading. 
Are you a man?  Your wife, your children have promises from God, you can help them get to them or hinder them.
Are you a teacher? Before you are kids who are called to be teachers, doctors, lawyers and preachers. You can help them inherit that promises.

Are you a nurse or a doctor, there is a man whose life is in your hands you can help them get there or loose it all.

2.     The Weapon of the Word.
Our success is dependent on the Word of God.  This was not a call to confess scripture but to read it, eat it up, meditate on it.
Why?  God calls his people to supernatural living. You cannot succeed in a world where people wake early to do witchcraft. Where your neighbors have more money and more connections than yourself. The people you work with may have more education than yourself and the only way to get there is through God.

Our default mode is:  negativity, sinfulness, fear, superstition. 

The Word has a way of deleting the past and loading new stuff in our minds.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE WORD.
Hebrews 4:12
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. [3]

John 6:63
63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.[4]

A Christian saturated with the Word of God knows the mind of God, can easily know what to do and what not to do. He/She has the character and boldness of God.

How Do you do this?
·         A daily dose of God’s Word.

·         Memorizing scriptures that inspire you.

·         Reading books that inspire your faith.

3.     A call to Courageous living

·         Joshua did not have the miraculous gifting that Moses had.

·         He was inheriting leadership of a very difficult people. Always complaining, vey many and they had not had stability due to the nomadic nature of the exodus.

·         They were going into new lands.

·         There was Jordan to cross, no bridges.

·         There were giants in the land and Joshua and Caleb had seen them. They were warriors, Israel had to fight to get the new territory.

·         The people in the land were powerful in the spiritual world, the worshipped demons.

God had to Encourage Joshua.
He had to instill in him courage.
6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” [5]

 Remember God said, “Be courageous.” He didn’t say, “You cannot be afraid.”

Mark Twain was the one who said, “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” 
― 
Nelson Mandela


Real Life requires Courage
Let’s face it, human life is not for the faint of heart. You never know when things will fall apart.  Stuff happens in life. Sometimes it is unexpected. Most often it is unwelcome. It causes us to reach outside our comfort zones and find new ways of coping, surviving, winning.  SCOTT CARMER

I counted 10 verses in the Bible which talked about being Strong and Courageous.

1. Deuteronomy 31:7 
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 

2. Joshua 10:25 
Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight." 

3. 1 Chronicles 22:13 
Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. 

4. 1 Chronicles 28:20 
David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished. 

5. 2 Chronicles 32:7 
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.


It is said that FEAR NOT appears 365 times in the Bible. You have one dose of encouragement each day.

A Definition

I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it. - W.T. Sherman.
 
 The dictionary defines courage this way: the ability to face and deal with a dangerous or difficult situation.

These are the Four common things about courage:

1. Bravery in the face of danger.

2. Steadfastness in the face of opposition.

3. Action in the face of resistance.

4. Optimism in the face of despair.

The first one says I won’t be afraid. The second one says I won’t give up. The third one says I won’t be intimidated. The fourth one says I won’t lose heart.


“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” 
― 
Mary Anne Radmacher

·         TAKE ACTION BECAUSE IT THE RIGHT THING TO DO
“The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1

·         TAKE ACTION BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHO PROTECTS YOU.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.” Psalm 27:1-3

·         BECAUSE YOU LOVE GOD AND HIS PEOPLE, YOU TAKE ACTION.

I John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”

 
·         COURAGE WILL RESIST  PERSONAL WORRIES
 
Courage is nothing more than seeing the fear and taking action against it. How many of you know the 95% Rule of Worry? It goes like this: 95% of the things you worry about won’t happen.
 

IN WHAT PRACTICAL WAYS CAN WE BECOME COURAGEOUS?

 
1.      Saying no to corruption at the place of work

2.      Patience to wait as single girl for a godly man to come despite the passing of years.

3.      Speaking for justice in the face of injustices in society.

4.      Persisting in your faith, when unbelieving parents want you to give up on your faith.

5.      Sharing your faith in the face of opposition at school, at home and at work.

6.      Taking steps of faith when God calls you to leave your job to take on another job which is more God honoring but paying less.

7.      Beginning a project with not enough money yet you feel God is leading you there.

 



[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (Jos 1:2–3). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
[2] The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (Jos 1:6). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
[3] The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (Heb 4:12–13). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
[4] The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (Jn 6:63). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
[5] The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (Jos 1:6–9). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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