by Cailyn Kieper
When Joshua was leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, God gave him the charge to “be strong and courageous”. Joshua was new to the scene, and he had big shoes to fill after Moses died. It would have been easy for Joshua to operate in fear or insecurity, feeling like he wasn’t qualified for a job someone else had done so well. Anyone relate? But God commanded him to be strong and courageous, walking confidently in the plan God had already written specifically for him.
Hundreds of years later, David gave the same charge to his son, Solomon, that he may begin the construction of the temple.
This charge is timeless, meaning it still applies to us today. However, this is a charge that requires bravery. It requires us to be strong and courageous even when fear is present. When God issued the command to be strong and courageous, he also provided the assurance that he would be with Joshua as his true source of strength. If we look at the verse in 1 Chronicles 28, we will see that David not only charged Solomon to be strong and courageous, he also challenged him to take action. It’s one thing to read about God being the source of our strength, and another to fully trust him and live our lives in response to it.
In so many of the great charges and commissions in the Bible, God promises to be with us as we set out to do what he has called us to do. Often, it can be hard to fully understand the authority that we have been given in Christ. The reality is, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is within us as believers. The first step is to believe and receive this power and authority. The second step is to take a leap of faith. There is so much that God has in store for us, but sometimes we can only unlock it by taking action.
There was a time in my life when I felt called into a serving position at my church. The other people in this serving position were older than me, more experienced than me, and probably knew how to do the job way better than me. I was worried that I would mess up, and everyone would blame me because I was young or inexperienced. I simply felt under-qualified. I felt like Joshua who may have been compared to Moses’ leadership and reputation. But the individuals around me took the time to speak truth to me. They encouraged me to ask God to help me feel empowered. (God is waiting to release a lot of things if we just ask Him.) So I did, and I served even though I was nervous. I realized the only way to get rid of my nerves was to dive right in. I shortly found out that I wasn’t under-qualified, I was just new. I wasn’t too young, and my age was actually a strength. I discovered I was able to bring fresh energy and excitement to the position because of my naturally optimistic spirit. I never would have known these things if I allowed fear to hold me back from the task God was calling me to.
Bravery+Action=A Powerful Combination.
A lot of times, we allow the fear of the unknown to hold us back from action. However, I’ve learned the only way to discover the unknown is to dive head first into it. And I’ve learned that the unknown is a lot less scary than it may seem.
“Do not talk about it; do not sit down, and dream over the plans, and think how admirable they are, and then roll them up; but, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it.’”
- Charles Spurgeon
Joshua 1:9 (AMP) - “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
1 Chronicles 28:20: “And David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God; my God; will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.’”
Prayer: Father, we thank you for giving us a spirit of power and bravery. Help us to act in a way that is reflective of your spirit within us. We ask that you empower us to walk in the authority that you have bestowed upon us, that we may build up the Kingdom here on Earth. In your name, Amen.