This Father’s Day, we are looking at the life of Joshua. If there’s anything that’s needed in our world today it’s Men of Courage. Courage is a characteristic that we see in the Scriptures. As Joshua’s life was tasked with leading the people of Israel into the promised land, he had to fill some pretty big shoes (Moses’ shoes). Not only was he following after Moses, but he also knew that what was ahead of him wasn’t going to be easy.
The Lord understood Joshua’s anxiety but He also understood what was required of them in order to possess the land that was promised to them. He says to Joshua in Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
There is a difference between what is promised to us and what we actually experience. What’s been promised us is not unconditional. God has a promise for all of us. Whether or not we see that promise, no matter how much He wants to see the promise fulfilled, there are some conditions that have to be fulfilled in order for us to see them come to pass.
One of those conditions is courage.
Courage cannot be mistaken for aggression, passion, or anger. Just because a person is aggressive or angry, it doesn’t mean they’re courageous. Webster defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
We need this courage in our society. We need men like this in our society more than ever, men who are willing to live for something. Courage comes from recognizing what really matters in life, what really matters to God. Courage comes from recognizing what really matters in the heart of God, what really matters in regards to truth. Once those values of God have been branded in our hearts, there’s not enough people, difficult enough situations, persecution, punishment, setback, betrayal, etc. to get men of truth to give in or compromise with what we know is right.
Courage requires a commitment to truth.
When people say “my truth”, they’re usually talking about their emotions, their perspective. It’s not about “my truth” or your truth, it’s about His truth. In John 1, we see that Jesus came to us both in grace and in truth. Courage is a recognition that there is truth; there are absolute truths. All truth isn’t relative. There are truths that transcend generations, the secular mindset, situations, etc. No matter what anyone says, no matter how the landscape around us changes, there is a compass with a true North. There are still things that are absolute truths. Courage requires being willing to identify with those truths and to embrace and anchor our lives to that truth.
Jesus came to us both in grace and compassion but also in truth. There is freedom and liberty in truth. There is no freedom apart from truth. If we want freedom from our past, from addiction, we have to find that truth in the gospel.
Courageous men are willing to live lives of truth.
Paul says in Philippians 1:27 to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” As courageous men commit themselves to live lives of truth, it gives room for others to step up and experience the same freedom.
You can blaze a trail, open the way, and be the man God has called you to be by living in courage.
Courage requires taking initiative.
Canaan was their land. God looked at that land and said “I’ve already promised that land to them”. That was in God’s heart. Joshua then had the responsibility of leading His people to the land that was already promised.
In Joshua 11:23, Joshua took the whole land. “So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.” The land was reserved for the Israelites. He had already put a reserve sign on the land of Canaan. Even though it was promised to them, they still had to take the initiative. Joshua didn’t hope that God had fought the battles for them. The land belonged to them but they had to take it. There are promises that God has given to you about your family, your home, etc. and God is committed to that promise but as men of courage, you have to battle for those promises. They’re not just automatic.
Our enemies aren’t people, our neighbors, our relatives, etc. Our enemy is the enemy. God has made us promises but the enemy is trying to intimidate us and withhold His promises from us. Men of courage engage in the spiritual battle and fight for the promises that God has given them no matter what it costs them.
Joshua didn’t negotiate. He took the whole land. God is looking for men of courage to have the kind of courage that will not negotiate with the enemy. We have to be unsatisfied until we see His promises to come to pass in our family, our marriage, our homes. “Then the land had rest from war.” There’s only rest after there’s victory and there’s only victory after the battle.
In Psalms 18, David says “I beat them as fine as windblown dust; I trampled them like mud in the streets.” We can’t just chase the enemy off. The enemy seeks to completely destroy us. In this verse, we see David beat them into dust. That’s courage. Courage requires selflessness because it’s not easy. It’s one thing to leave something for our children but what’s even better is to leave something in them: a love for the Scriptures, a personal relationship with Jesus, a testimony of His faithfulness, etc.
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