Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Reasons for Bold and Courageous Christian Living

JOSHUA 1:1-9 – After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. 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. 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.”

REASONS FOR BOLD AND COURAGEOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING: Every Christian experiences unhealthy fear. Every Christian knows those anxious moments of being afraid. And those occur with greater intensity when faced with doing something new, doing something taking us out of our comfort zones, and that is exactly what God will do in the lives of His children! Faith demands taking steps of obedience that are uncomfortable, create a pit in our stomach and tempt us to run and hide in familiar territory. But here is an important lesson about spiritual maturity. It doesn’t happen by us staying in safe, familiar, and comfortable settings. We grow by “stepping out of our boats” in obedience to the Lord’s commands. Like Peter (Matthew 14:28).

In today’s scripture, Joshua is fearful and afraid. He is about to take over for Moses. And the task God called him to–leading Israel into the promised land was scary and Joshua felt in over his head. He was scared. But how do we know that was true of him? Three times in the scripture of the day, God commands Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” Why? Because he wasn’t. Well, we know how the story ends. Joshua obeys which defines faith in action. Was he afraid as he did? Of course, but he also experienced strength and courage as he obeyed. That is always God’s ways. We step out in faith looking to His promises. We don’t wait to feel the promise or have some experience before we obey, yet, God gave Joshua, and us, two reasons to step out in faith in fearful times with boldness and courage.

First, God promises to be with us. We are not commanded by God then left alone by God. He says, “I will be with you.” That is a strong reason to be bold and courageous. The God who commands is the God who goes with us as we obey.

Next, God promises to not only be with us but to stay with us. It isn’t like the Lord saying, “I will start out this journey with you, but after a little while, you are on your own.” Nope. Not at all. He knows we are fearful sheep who need His Shepherding Presence all the way through life. And He will stay with us every step of the way. Now that builds confidence; creates boldness to obey.

So in fearful times, cling to these reasons for bold and courageous Christian living–the Lord is not only with us but stays with us!

PRAYER: “Father, thank You for giving me all I need in Your Word and Spirit to be a bold and fearless Christian.”

QUOTE: “We have no justifiable reason to be a timid, fearful, and disengaged Christian in the culture today.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Jim