I am so excited to introduce this wonderful lady to you all! I started poking around her blog a few months ago and FELL IN LOVE with what she talks about and I think you will too!
So (drumroll please!) Without further ado, Kristin from The Peculiar Treasure!
She has a great post for us talking about Joshua so dig in and tell us what you are thinking!
I’m not going to lie- sometimes I can be a big weenie when it comes to things that scare me. Ask me to go talk to a stranger, invite someone who looks sad to sit at our lunch table, or ask the embarrassing question that no one else is willing to ask, and I’m your girl! But ask me to meet someone for an interview by myself, dance in front of a crowd, or do any sort of public speaking, and you’ll see a totally different woman. The difference? The first set of tasks doesn’t scare me at all. The second set absolutely does!
But this begs the question, what is courage? Because if courage is simply doing things that scare other people, but don’t scare me, then boy am I courageous! But something tells me that isn’t exactly what God had in mind when he told us to be courageous.
Joshua 1:9 is probably the most quoted verse from the book of Joshua- and for good reason! But did you know that within the first chapter of Joshua, God had already said “Be strong and courageous” two other times?
6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Sometimes, I fear that people skip over this far too quickly (myself included).
We tend to read it and think, “Ok, I will be courageous and strong today during my presentation. And I will do great”. And while there isn’t anything wrong with drawing courage from this verse, there is a lot more to it- and to all of Joshua- than that.
Courage and Faithfulness
The thing about God telling Joshua to be strong and courageous, is that that’s not all He said. What He really said was, (and I’m paraphrasing): “Be strong and courageous. Cling on to me, and seek me, and trust me. That is where your courage should come from. Keep my commands near, live by them, and trust me for all I’ve promised”.
So when we say, “I’m a Christian. I can have courage and do well on this project”, that’s great and all, but God is asking for far more than us just declaring that we will do well. He is asking us to trust HIM.
Courage has nothing to do with trusting our own abilities. Courage- real courage- is trusting God and knowing that He is in control, leading, and holding us.
Throughout the book of Joshua, Joshua seeks God, listens for God, and obeys God. He trusts God to 1.) do what He has already promised, and 2.) continue leading him all through his life.
There is one incident however, in Joshua 9:14 that Joshua hastily took a deal with some men he met on the outskirts of the city. He did not consult God about this (he was trusting his own wisdom and desires, instead of seeking God first). This resulted in Joshua being tricked by the men he made a deal with.
When I read that passage, I don’t naturally think of Joshua’s sin as a lack of courage. But if we define being courageous as trusting what God has commanded us to do, living by it, and seeking Him in all things (especially when things aren’t black and white), then in this moment, Joshua was not being courageous. He was, in true human fashion, being a weenie.
But you know what? We all have those moments. Joshua did not seek God, and that was a bad thing, but God had mercy on him. And God has mercy on us, too.
He only asks that we work towards being courageous and trusting Him the next time around.
So next time we are afraid, we need to remember that courage is the act of trusting God, no matter how scared we are, and no matter how difficult things look. We are to trust that He will help us accomplish what we need to accomplish, that He will help us in times of trouble, and that He is taking care of every aspect of our lives. That, dear friends, is courage. And that is what God asks of us.
Don’t forget to check out more great content at Kristen’s blog The Peculiar Treasure