Let’s begin this reflection with a declaration.
I need more courage to obey than to fight.
What do you think? Here is some context to consider. God gives Joshua a charge before he starts leading Israel on his own, without Moses. He lets Joshua know on what ground they stand together (Joshua 1:3), and the boundaries of that ground (v. 4), and renews His covenant with Joshua (v. 5). God did not tell Joshua to do what Moses did. He told him to be strong and very courageous to keep, do, and observe the commands. God gives Joshua instruction and clarity about his assignment and affirms several times that Joshua will need strength and courage (v. 6).
Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you have success wherever you go (Joshua 1:7 NASB).
In his book The Prophets: Who They Were, What They Are, Norman Podhoretz says about Joshua that the repeated exhortations to be strong and courageous each have their own targets. The second time, Joshua is encouraged to be strong and courageous in his observance of God’s word.
What will require even more strength and courage of him…is to observe to do… Joshua is so faithful that not once is he charged with a single sin, in this surpassing even Moses himself (p. 41).
You know, a rusty, tarnished crown is guaranteed when we turn from God’s command. Obedience then, in addition to kindness, is part of the CrownShine. Obedience helps us maintain clean crowns.
When we fail to follow the given instruction, we will default (go back) to what worked in a former place.
The opposite of courage is the easy way, and it is easier to slink back and compromise on what God said than it is to remain committed to God’s word. Consider how easily people choose to misunderstand, or feel victimized, or be offended by our commitment to God’s word. It angers them that they cannot sway us, or emotionally manipulate us, or lead us astray.
Life becomes dramatic in the company of compromisers.
It takes more courage and strength to obey and observe God’s commands because while His commands are not grievous or burdensome (1 John 5:3), they are not easy. Because we only please God by faith (Hebrews 11:6), we need strength and courage to stick with what He said when feelings, people, memories and other things rise up to pull us into releasing the tension (and attention) on our obedience.
Wherever you are Royal Ones, in spirit and in soul commitment, please be strong and very courageous to DO ALL GOD put in your hands to do. Let there be holy help and divine assistance to fuel your ability and actions. Do not leave the Word now, but stand firm in courage and strength.
Love to all.Reference: Podhoretz, N. (2002). The prophets: Who they were, what they are. New York: The Free Press.