God is inviting us to go higher in Him. He is calling us to leave our comfort zone and develop a history with Him. If we respond and press in, there will be many new experiences and breakthroughs in our lives. For some of us, we will see a breakthrough in our walk with the Lord. We will experience an intimate relationship with our God like never before. For others, the Lord may set you free from struggles, strongholds and bondage. We may also see our family relationships being restored, parents receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. And in terms of ministry, the Lord is going to bring us to a new height and dimension.
How can we be strong and courageous as we face the challenges of life? When the crisis hits and fear strikes its crushing blow, our spiritual muscles turn to mental mush; our fight turns to flight. How can we stay bold, strong and courageous?
As we wait upon the Lord for the promise of breakthroughs, many of us find ourselves struggling. We find ourselves struggling with fear, discouragement, disappointment, tiredness, loneliness and many others. Things seem to be more negative. You begin to wonder whether you will see victory and breakthrough in your life and ministry. Or if the promise is a mistake after all? The word of God for you is this: Arise and be strong & courageous!
We can identify with the great man of old by the name of Joshua, as we are expecting a breakthrough but yet living under the shadow of uncertainty, fear and discouragement. As we know, the book of Joshua begins with the announcement concerning the death of Moses. Splashed across the front page of “The Wilderness times”, Joshua reads the word, “Moses is dead.” This servant of God whom the people have followed for 40 years now retires for his heavenly reward. That is good news for Moses but bad news for Joshua, especially when Jehovah made the promotion announcement about Joshua’s new appointment as Commander-in-Chief. The weight of this divine appointment far exceeds the “glamour” that may accompany it. It is indeed a huge task to lead the people in battle against the Canaanites and to possess the land.
Standing across the Jordan under the gloom of grief over the death of his predecessor, Joshua must have found himself under the shadow of fear, uncertainty and doubt. He must be wondering whether he will eventually claim the promise which the Lord has given. That is why three times, the Lord commanded him, “Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9). Indeed in verse 9, the Lord added, “Do not be terrified or discouraged.” The word “discouraged” literally means to be shattered, to be broken, to give up.
This too is God’s Word to us. Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified or discouraged. When faced with a mountain, do not quit! Keep on trusting till we climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath – or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine, of course with God’s help. So no matter what the next season holds, God’s Word to us is “Be strong and Courageous!”
How can we be strong and courageous as we face the challenges of life? When the crisis hits and fear strikes its crushing blow, our spiritual muscles turn to mental mush; our fight turns to flight. How can we stay bold, strong and courageous? God gave Joshua three pillars by which he can stand firm against every difficulty and problem.
The Promise of God First, God gave Joshua His promise with the promotion announcement. In verse 3, we read, “I will give you every place where you set your foot as I promised Moses.” God has solemnly sworn and promised the land to Joshua and His people. They are merely to possess this land of promise.
In the same way, God wants us to focus on the spiritual promises we have in Christ. Many Biblical scholars have compared the book of Joshua to the book of Ephesian. In Ephesians 1:3, we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Remember every spiritual blessing belongs to us in Christ. And Paul ends the book by saying, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.” And throughout the book of Ephesians, God challenges us to remember and to act on and appropriate the spiritual blessings which are ours in Jesus Christ.
God wants us to focus on the promises we have in Christ. He wants us to claim the inheritance He has for us. Let us claim the promise of God with confidence. Let us believe that God will bring breakthrough upon everyone in our lives and ministry. Let us be strong and courageous as we wait for the promise of God to come forth. On what basis can we be strong and courageous? On the basis of God’s promise!
The Powerful Word of God The second pillar God gave Joshua in order that he may be strong and courageous is the powerful Word of God. Joshua was to hang on to the Word of God in obedience. To win military battles, Joshua was to obey God’s Word faithfully and fully. If Joshua wanted prosperity and success in the conquest of Canaan, he was to do the following: 1. The law was not to depart out of his mouth; he was to talk about it 2. He was to meditate on it day and night 3. He was to obey its command, to live according to it
In fact, the last is really what releases the power of the Word in our lives. First, we must know it. Then we must allow it to occupy our minds and our souls. Finally, we must act upon it in obedience. Then the power of God makes our paths straight.
The commitment to the Word of God must be central in our lives and ministry. It is not just another program or another “thing” to do. We must not allow the law to depart from our heart, soul, mind and mouth. We must read it, think of it, talk about it and most of all, to live it out! I am praying that we will be committed and grounded in the Word of God as a ministry, then we will be prosperous and successful, and will see breakthrough as the Lord has promised.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified or discouraged. When faced with a mountain, do not quit! Keep on trusting till we climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath – or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine, of course with God’s help.
The Presence of God Finally, we can be strong and courageous because the Lord’s presence is with us! The Lord assures Joshua of His presence. Just before Moses departed, Moses has said to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:7, 8, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with His people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them. The Lord is the One who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” And when the book of Joshua begins, we see the words not of Moses but of the Lord Himself. God says in Joshua 1:5, “I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.” Then in verse 9 again, “… for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
The presence of God is with us! He will be with us in our offices, in our homes, in our ministry. We only need to believe, to doubt our doubts and to put our trust in Him who never leaves us or forsakes us. We must believe and claim the breakthroughs with faith and confidence. Let’s continue to be strong and courageous and ask the Lord for breakthrough till it comes. As we hang on to His promises, His powerful Word, and His presence, we will be strong and courageous!