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.’ – Joshua 1:9 AMP
There is the story of a battle where the flag bearer got so far ahead of the regiment that the officer called back to the headquarters and asked, “Shall we bring the flag back to the regiment?” The commanding officer said, “No, make the regiment catch up with the flag!” In today’s modern but failing world, we need men and women with the heart of a lion, we need those who will align themselves with Christ’s standard and not try to negotiate His word or His will for their lives.
Our King has given us marching orders, but many are afraid to take a step in obedience. They only wish they could simply comply with God’s word, but they don’t get to the part of doing. They seem to be paralyzed by some invisible force, but the word of the Lord to Joshua is the word of the Lord to all: Have I not commanded you? Do not be terrified or intimidated!
When God speaks, all the forces of creation comply – both the good ones and the bad ones. God’s word goes with great power, and not even the hordes of hell can withstand or resist the power of His word. If He says to be courageous, then you can be courageous. So, get up and live like the child of a warrior-king!
Courage to be you
‘I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.’ – Psalm 139:14 AMP
One reason why many are fearful of living for God’s glory is because they do not yet realize their identity in Christ. They are timid and shy of what the world would think or say of them, they are mindful of what their family or friends would gossip about them, they don’t want to be labelled as a fanatic or as someone who has ‘gotten too far in their head with religion.’ But walking with God is not religion at all – it is based on a relationship with the Father of all creation, the One who loves like no other and has called as His beloved children.
You are a child of divine royalty, do you understand? Could you for a moment try to imagine the prince of a kingdom being ashamed of his honorable identity, especially in a territory established by his father-king? Who would he be ashamed of? The public? Or his father’s defeated and imprisoned enemies? You shouldn’t get lost in the crowd of today’s world, many of who do not even know their real identity. You need to stop looking at the wrong things and start looking in the right direction – the face of Christ. When you seek and behold His face sufficiently, you will discover that – like Him – you’re royalty, for He has freely shared His identity, nobility, and authority with you beginning from the day you asked Him into your life.
Courage to love
‘Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold. But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved.’ – Matthew 24:12,13 AMP
The more the world advances in technological breakthroughs and scientific inventions, the less people are becoming human. Humanity is at the mercy of two kingdoms: the Eternal kingdom of our blessed Christ, and the temporal kingdom of darkness. While those who are controlled by darkness don’t care a nickel about loving, we who belong to Christ must demonstrate the love-nature of our King. We must love like our lives depended on it [our faith actually depends on it – faith works by love – Galatians 5:6], but we must not let it get to us when our love is not appreciated or reciprocated.
Its going to get increasingly difficult to show real love to people as the days go by, because of an increased rate in crime and persecution which is as a result of pure simple hatred of the gospel. But as an extension of Christ on the earth, as His hands and His feet, we must ask Him to help us love unconditionally, even in the face of rejection and persecution.
Courage to forgive
‘Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go] so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your trespasses and wrongdoings [against Him and others].’ – Mark 11:25 AMP
Naturally speaking, forgiveness is difficult, and that’s the plain but inconvenient truth! The natural man, when offended, is usually driven by a strong desire to get even. He wants to pay back for perceived wrongs done to him, he wants to have his revenge by all means necessary. That’s the way of the flesh, and that’s the way of the devil.
But as God’s children, we are taught to forgive everyone who offends us, and even encouraged to pray for them instead of seeking to get even! We can forgive because we are a spiritual people, and we know that we ourselves were forgiven our past sinful lives by the gracious compassion of the Savior. As a matter of fact, if lawlessness (offenses, rejections, persecutions) is going to increase in the last days, then it will require lots of courage to forgive. But glory be to God! If He says to forgive in His word, then He is able to help us and supply us with much grace to forgive as much as we need to.
Courage to give
‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.’ – Romans 12:20 AMP
Giving is the very foundation of Christian faith. God offered His precious Son and gave Him as a sacrifice for the redemption of the human race, Jesus willingly gave up His heavenly throne of glory to come to earth in the form of a physical man so He could give His life for our sins, the Holy Spirit comes down in the upper room and gives diverse gifts to the apostles and disciples who had been waiting in prayer for a few days. Giving occurs all through the pages of the Bible, the strangest one of all being the sacrifice of Jesus for us. You know why? He died for His enemies! Yes, when Christ died for you, you were still His enemy! Romans 5:8-10 tell us this truth! It was your realization of the sacrificial giving of His life that won your heart and made you His friend!
In the same way, God tells us to give generously, even to those who do not like us. We are not doing this to get man’s praise but to please the Lord and help us get more conformed to His likeness! So, give whatever you can give to make someone’s life better; however, you need to draw courage to give – because just like love and forgiveness, giving to people who don’t care about you takes a lot of courage!
Courage to live by faith
‘By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.’ – Hebrews 11:27 NKJV
Social media and too much dependence on the internet is one of the many reasons why most people lack faith. The worldly system offers its own alternatives and makes sure our physical senses are bombarded with so much activity, noise and evil which make it difficult to believe God and take Him at His word! But if we got saved by faith, then we must live the Christian life by faith. You know why the world fights faith? Because it knows that victory over the devil is secured by faith, crucifying the carnal nature that is inclined to evil is by faith, pleasing God and getting to heaven is by faith!
Those who live by faith are not fools, they are simply being children – I mean children of the Most High God! I tell you, your faith is your strength. Your faith scares the enemy. Your faith is central to your walk with God – because you wouldn’t have become a son or daughter of the King of Heaven if you didn’t have faith in the first place! So, be bold with your faith – tell people about it, show it at work, show it in the classroom, show it in the gym, show it everywhere you find yourself – and give the Lord a reason to smile at you!
Courage is strength!
Courage demands a radical decision, a separation from the crowd, and a putting away of the temporal things that distract us in this world. Do well to maintain your courage through fellowship with God in the place of prayer, mediation on the scriptures, worship, and praise, coupled with a decision to live out your faith physically, undaunted, and unmoved by what anyone else would say!