Summary: Assuming leadership roles can often be tough. It requires being strong & courageous. This sermon shares Biblical advice as to how we can be strong & courageous.
BE STRONG & COURAGEOUS
Joshua is an unevious position. Can you imagine having to fill the shoes of Moses ? Taking the place of a man...who could speak to God through a burning bush...cast down his rod, and have it turn into a snake, and then retrieve it, and find it a rod again. Can you imagine being the predecessor of a man that could stretch out his rod, and divide the Red Sea....a man that could bring water out of a rock when the people died from thirst ?
Not only that...but Joshua now finds himself the leader of a group of people known for murmuring, complaining, backsliding...and wishing they were back where they came from. God now looks at Joshua..and says “You the Man”. There is yet things to accomplish...Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, and through many precarious situations...but now there is the “land of promise” still to be claimed. The inhabitants of the land still must be defeated, and dislodged.
How will Joshua manage to do this ? What does Joshua need in order to fulfil this awesome task ? The answer is that he needs, and has the same thing as did Moses. The power to do such things that Moses did...and to lead as he did are upon Joshua. He has been ordained of God to do this, and God will give to him what he needs to fulfil this calling.
In this chapter God instructs Joshua 3 times to “be strong, and be courageous”. Such easy instructions....but how is he to be strong, and courageous ?
The Lion’s Tail
Adrian Rogers tells about the man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocket knife. Asked why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head, the man replied: “Someone had already done that.”
It’s easy sometimes to be cocky, and pretend to be brave..but what Joshua needed was true bravery, and courage.
God not only directs Joshua to be “strong, and courageous”..but he dictates to him how to be so.
To live the kind of Life that God wants us to in the society that we live in...we too need courage the way that Joshua did.....Sometimes its hard to be strong, and courageous.
One summer evening, during a violent thunderstorm, a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, “Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?” The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. “I can’t dear,” she said, “I have to sleep with Daddy.” A long silence was broken at last by a shaken little voice saying, “The big sissy.”
Let’s take a look at how Joshua could be “strong, and courageous...and how we can as well.
1. Stand on the Promises. V 3. What an awesome promise ! Though God’s servant Moses is deceased...his plans, and promises are the same.
The God of Moses is the God of Joshua....he makes his promises, he keeps them. If Joshua is to be “strong, and courageous” he must stand upon the promises of the word of God. If we are to accomplish what God calls us, and instructs us to do...we as well must stand on the promises....the problem is many saints are sitting on the premises instead of standing on the promises.
2. Sense the Presence. V.5 ....as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. How can Joshua lead with confidence, how can he confront the battles that lie ahead ? He can because the same God that was with Moses is with him. A God that will not forsake, and one that will not fail. Every place that the sole of his foot touched was to become their land....and every step that Joshua took God was with him.
Today, if we are children of God, he has promised never to leave us nor to forsake us. He not only is with us...but is in us.
3. Stay the Path V7. If Joshua is to be “strong, and courageous” he must stay the path...he must not turn...he must not compromise...he must not become distracted....he must not become detoured from what the will of God is. He must stay the path set before him. Faithfulness is the key.
Royt Blount, quoted by Karin Winegar in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune When Ralph Houk was manager of the New York Yankees, baseball schedules were even more exacting than they are now, with double-headers almost every week. Occasionally a player would get sick of the grind and approach Houk, asking for permission to sit out a game.
“I know how you feel,” the manager would say genially. “Sure, take the day off, But do me a favor. You’re in the starting lineup. Just play one inning. Then skip the rest of the game.”