Strong and Courageous: Leading Well (Part 4)

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good 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 good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:1-9

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What God’s asking Joshua to do here, isn’t all about moral support for a leader, it’s about asking Joshua to trust Him . To let go of fear, and let Him take it’s place. Fear comes when we don’t trust God. That’s how perfect love casts out all fear. Where there’s perfect love, there’s perfect trust. I wonder if Joshua was scared. He’s painted as a strong leader, unafraid, ready to do anything God would ask; like Moses. But he must have had his doubts. With Moses dead, he must have been wondering what God was up to. When God said, “Moses died, you’re taking over”, and I don’t imagine there was a lot of gusto on his part. He probably felt like a deflated party balloon. Going to see the promise land one minute and the next being told the leader of the whole mission had died and he was in charge. Everything is different when you have a whole lot more people looking up to you. He saw what these people were capable of. What if they didn’t like him? What if he failed? What about the enemies? The danger? What about war? They can’t just waltz in there an expect them to give up their land without a fight? So now he’s an army general? Even better. A new leader, responsible for land, lives, lunch, and large groups of snickering people. 

And God says: “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.”

God is telling him that he’s gonna be with him, just like Moses. His role-model. Who was so close to the glory of God his face shone so no one could look upon it. This guy was legend. His faith and leadership were legend, because of his trust in God. And God’s giving him the same thing? Wow. Ultimate confidence boost. Now Joshua may have been a fearless person who was so tight with God he just trusted him without hesitation. But I believe these words by God were said to him for a specific reason. Maybe because he had begun to take responsibility on himself for the people’s well-being or because he felt so inadequate to carry out such a task.

God replies: “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good 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 good success. “

But maybe we still worry about messing something up and in response to that God answers: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

He said something similar to that before. Before, he said “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” He reminds us that he is with us now, and will be with us in the future. There is nowhere we can go where he will not be there with us.  Looking over these encouraging words I was inspired to write a prayer I feel Joshua would say in the face of his circumstances. This prayer is something I desire to say in my own life, an act of surrender and recognition of how powerful God is. Maybe you need to remind yourself of these things as well. I think it should go something like this :

“Lord, I can’t be strong or courageous on my own. I can’t help but be frightened or dismayed by all that has happened recently. But you’ve promised you would be with me before. And you promised that you are with me now, and will still be with me no matter where I go or how old I get. Knowing that is the only way I could ever be strong and courageous when faced with what’s before me. Lord, I can’t lead these people. But you can, because their your people. I can’t take care of the land; but you can, because you’ve made it and chosen to give it to your people. I can’t give these people food, but you can, because you’re the great Provider. You’ve done it in the past and you’re just a capable now. I can’t win a war, but you can, because you’ll fight for your people. Lord, I can’t be strong, but you are. I can’t be courageous, but you can. Whatever you want to do with what I have to offer, take it. You’ve reminded me that I can’t do anything without you. I can’t be strong. I can’t be courageous. I can’t lead people. I can’t provide. But you can. And not through anything that I have done, but all because of what you have done and will continue to do. Trust casts out all fear. Where there is perfect love, there is perfect trust. So lead on Lord. Take everything I have and use it for your glory. Let them see your power and your might. Let everyone be utterly astounded by how great you are.”

If we would only take action instead of questioning God and letting our minds fill with doubts about our own abilities. They are justified doubts if we were required to do everything on our own; but we’re not. God will never call you to do or face something that you are improperly equipped for. He knows you better than you know yourself; and he also knows himself. He is stronger than we are, but so often we try to carry our burdens alone. He is wiser than we are, but we so often use feeble logic and reasoning to solve our problems. He is more courageous than we are, but, again, we look at our own small ounce of courage and maybe try to take a leap of faith. But we find our courage depleting fast, to the point where we have nearly none at all, and the leap is more like a wobble from one foot to the other in the wrong direction. Leadership isn’t about us being strong and courageous in the face of trouble. It’s about trusting him with our whole heart and letting him do the rest. And sometimes, the strength and courage come in when we take a leap of faith, not trusting our on footing, but expecting a free-fall before being caught in the arms of the Almighty God. “Be strong and courageous” is all about trusting him and letting him do the rest. And leadership requires much more of that than any skills we have we have to offer.

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Categories: Bible, Faith, God, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, leadership, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Strong and Courageous: Leading Well (Part 4)

  1. Tina Truelove

    You have once again written on the topic of one of my favorite scriptures, Joshua 1:9. You must be a great leader amongst your peers to be so wise on the subject. God has given you a great gift for not everyone can lead effectively. Keep writing! I don’t always leave comments and sometimes it takes me awhile to get around to reading but I love your blog.

    I am redeveloping and restructuring my own blog. I am currently deciding which blogs to list under my section titled “Blogs I Love.” I would love to feature your blog, with your permission. I think I asked this before but this is a different blog. I have deleted all others. I am a preschool teacher so I write mostly about that and I do write for pay but I also write to encourage others through faith in Jesus. My blog is faith based. I have chosen a temporary sunrise photo for now so you can see where your blog will be featured on my blog page. Take a look and if you don’t mind, I’ll add the link. Also, you can send me a photo that you would like to use. A photo of your beautiful face would be perfect. 🙂 Here is a link to my page where your blog would be featured. Scroll down to the “Blogs I Love” section on the right hand column: http://www.notjustpreschool.com/ After I reach a certain number of page views per month, I will be selling advertising space to education bloggers, mom bloggers and faith based bloggers and advertisers but your spot will remain free. If you would like me to go ahead and provide a link to your blog, send me a photo through my email. If not, that’s ok too. 🙂 I look forward to reading your blog posts for years to come.

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    • Joshua 1:9 is one of my personal favorites as well! I don’t know that I’m an exceptional leader, or very wise on the subject of leadership, but God is both. I just write what he teaches me in my life. There is no possible way I would ever be wise or know how to lead without him. I give you full permission to feature my blog, I’m so glad you enjoy reading it so much! I went and looked at your blog and where you said it will be, thank you for wanting to feature my blog! And for free! I’m so grateful! I’ll see about emailing you a pic for you to put with the link. Thanks again! 🙂

      Like

      • Tina Truelove

        Thank YOU! I think your blog will be an asset to mine. As a teacher, I love it when young people love to write. I think you are good at it and you will continue to improve with time. Your blog is looking great too. It is well organized. You feature your best work and the photos down your right hand column add color and interest too. You have over 1500 hits and you share other blogs on your site as well. I think you are linguistically gifted and you are using that gift to glorify God. Your mom and dad must be very pleased with you. 🙂

        Like

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