Strong and Courageous | Day Two
By: Kate Downing
Click here to type in the answers to today's study.
My dad used to be a competitive weight lifter. That is my favorite fact to tell my friends who are into weight lifting. I, myself, couldn’t be farther from “into weight lifting.” The heaviest things I manage to lift are small household objects that in reality don’t require actual strength. But, I love telling people that my dad is strong. I love getting to claim his strength as somehow a part of who I am.
Today, we are going to dive into what we touched on yesterday: Joshua’s call to be strong and courageous. This call is the backbone of the entire book. And it is the call that you and I are given when it comes to living out our relationship with God.
Before we dive in, spend the next two minutes praying over these things:
· Thank God for the opportunity to spend time with Him today.
· Ask Him to help you be focused and open to what He has to say to you.
· Ask Him to speak clearly to you through His Word.
As a reminder of what we read yesterday, read Joshua 1:1-5.
What promise did God make to Joshua (vs. 5)?
Now, read verses 6-9 and underline every time God calls Joshua to “be strong and courageous.”
Three times in four verses, God commands Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” Any time a word or phrase is repeated in Scripture it means it is crucially important. The command to be strong and courageous is not only crucial to the book of Joshua, it is crucial to the position of leadership to which God is calling Joshua.
I’m not sure how physically strong Joshua was. I’m sure he was more able to lift things than I am, but it’s important we understand that God wasn’t calling Joshua to be buff. He is calling Him be firm, diligent, and brave. God was calling Him to be strong and courageous not because of who Joshua was but because of who God is!
Joshua could be strong and courageous because of…
1) God’s promise
Read verse 5-6 again. Why does God’s promise give Joshua the ability to be strong and courageous?
Put yourself in Joshua’s shoes. If you were in his position, how would this promise help you be strong and courageous when things get hard?
Joshua could do this because the all-powerful, all-mighty God promised to ALWAYS be with Him! Like we talked about yesterday, that’s an incredible promise--one that should help us be strong and courageous, as well!
2) God’s power through His Word
Read verse 7-8. What two things does God promise to make Joshua in verse 8? What must Joshua do in order to receive this promise? (Hint: “The Book of the Law” means the sections of the Bible that had been written to that point in history, specifically the law that God gave Moses.)
Joshua could be strong and courageous if He spent time in God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 says “…[T]he word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” God is powerful through His Word. By spending time in it, we too can become strong and courageous.
3) God’s presence
Read verse 9. Read this verse again, but replace the word “for” with the word “because.”
Why can Joshua be strong and courageous? What additional commands does God give right after the word “courageous”?
God’s presence in Joshua’s life gave him the ability to be strong and courageous. It’s important to note that God called Joshua to not fear. Fear is the biggest hindrance to acting, thinking, and living in strength and courage. Joshua could be strong not in his own strength, but in the promise, power, and presence of God!
And, he could be courageous by obeying the call of God!
Joshua’s strength was anchored in trusting the all-powerful God; his courage looked like obedience to God’s call. We are called to the same strength--based in trusting a God who promises to never leave us or forsake us--and to courageous obedience based in a perfectly faithful God. I cannot claim to be strong on my own, but I always know I have my dad’s muscle to back me up.
The same idea is true when it comes to our Heavenly Father. We can never be strong or courageous enough on our own. But, we can trust His perfect strength and courageously obey Him because of his perfect faithfulness.
Take a minute to truthfully answer these questions before the Lord:
What things do you fear today?
In what ways are you struggling to trust God?
Confess your answers to God. Declare that He is all-powerful and trustworthy. Then, ask the Lord to help you lay down your fears and to practice trusting Him whole-heartedly today.
Complete this sentence: Today, God taught me ___________________________.