JOSHUA – STRONG AND CORAGEOUS The story of Joshua is the story of the rising of a new generation. As a young person, this is a story that we should familiarise ourselves with as we are entering a season of transition, soon we will have to step up and take over the positions that the older generations have held. We are the church of tomorrow… SO, what can we learn from Joshua?
1. God’s guidelines for success (Joshua 1:6-9) -
Be strong and courageous! Obey the Law Know the Word
God is our encourager! Stepping up is not an easy thing to do but if we do not take that first step, we do not get to find out what we are capable of accomplishing; sometimes we need to be pushed. Our times of significant growth happen when we are outside of our comfort zone.
2. When you step out in faith, God goes ahead of you Sometimes our fear of failure or embarrassment stops us from stepping out and doing what we need to do. When we feel like this we should remember that God will not allow us to slip and fall, if we are endeavouring to obey Him and walk in his will, then He will order our steps and make everything work together for our good. God went ahead of Joshua (Joshua 1:1-13)
From this, we can see that when God goes ahead of you, he orchestrates: -
People to help you (Rahab the prostitute was ready to help Joshua’s spies)
God will always bring people around you who are assigned to help you along in your journey. They may not always be who you expect but God can use absolutely anyone, even a prostitute! -
Situations ( Rahab had a plan in place to hide the spies when the King was looking for them)
A word in season (BE STRONG AND CORAGEOUS)
The phrase “Be Strong and Courageous” was repeated numerous times, God wanted Joshua to hold on to that word. He spoke it first to Joshua directly and then the Israelites later said to Joshua “Only be strong and courageous”. That was confirmation and encouragement for Joshua! When God speaks, he chooses his words carefully. STRONG: Able to withstand force, pressure or wear. CORAGEOUS: Not deterred by danger or pain. From the definitions of these two words, God gives us an outline of the type of journey to expect when we step out in faith. There may be force or pressure and we may feel worn out. We may be faced with danger or pain, but God will enable us to withstand it all and to not be deterred!
3. When God wants to use us, we need to value holiness and obey His commands Joshua 3:5 – Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you! God is merciful but there comes a time in life where we have to grow and not take that fact for granted. When God wants us to step up to a new level in life, we need to set ourselves apart from things that aren’t pleasing to God and dedicate ourselves to His purposes. CONSECRATE: “Declare or set apart as sacred” “Dedicate solemnly to a service or goal”
We see in Joshua 7, the consequences of disobedience. The Israelites went to battle and in contrast to their previous successes; many of their men were killed. This happened because one of their men went against a commandment that God had given them. When God gives us a commandment to keep, it isn’t just because He wants to limit our fun – it is for our own good.
4. When God is raising us up, we must respect the older generation (Joshua 8:30-35) Joshua honoured and respected Moses and in doing that he was able to carry out the fulfilment of the promises that God had given to the Israelites through Moses. There is a blessing that comes from respecting our elders. So many times we have seen in the bible where the older generation would bless the younger generation and call them into their destiny. Moses laid hands on Joshua before he stepped into his role as leader: Numbers 27:18 So the LORD said to Moses, "Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him. Many other verses in the bible highlight the importance of honouring our elders 1 Peter 5:5 - Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Ephesians 6:1-3 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Let’s pray for grace to be strong and courageous like Joshua!