“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6-9, NLT)
In this short passage the phrase, “Be strong and courageous,” was used three times. I can only speculate that Joshua was struggling with being strong and courageous. We have all had times and will have times in the future when we will be required to be strong and courageous and it may take several reminders.
Some things I took away from this passage are first, “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.” This doesn’t mean you will physically lead people to possess land but you will lead people. Whether you realize or not, someone is following you, someone is watching you, someone walking in the path you are leading them in. With those we lead, whether it be children, spouses, co-workers, people in our churches, etc., we have the ability to lead them towards their promises or away from their promises. Now, that may seem like a lot of pressure, it depends on how you look at it. If you purpose to walk towards your destiny, you will automatically lead others to theirs, whether you realize it or not. If you purpose to walk away from your destiny, you may take others with you on that path as well. Be strong and courageous, no one wants to follow a weak leader, when they do, they become weak as well.
The next thing I take from this passage is the key to what I just mentioned in the previous paragraph. Verses 7 and 8. Some translations say the “Book of the Law,” this is not referring to the following the law of the Old Testament. This is referring to following the principles set forth in the Bible. When we follow the instruction that comes through God’s Word, it gives us the strength and courage we need and the strategy to do what we are called to do. The Bible is the only instruction manual you need, hold tight to it, there is life in it and you will find it leading you on the right path. You’ve probably heard the statement, “Encourage yourself in the Lord,” how do you do that? Have you ever tried to put a piece of furniture together without the instruction manual? I have, it can get discouraging, you get pieces backwards and in the wrong place. But, when you open that instruction manual and begin to read step by step, in order, it brings encouragement as you move towards the final piece. When we try to piece our lives together without following the instruction manual it brings discouragement. We encourage ourselves in the Lord by opening the Bible, our life instruction manual, and listening for the next step. “Meditate on it day and night, only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Finally, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” We must always remember, during whatever season we find ourselves in, God knows exactly where we are at. You may not feel like it at times, you may question at times, but He is right there. Be strong and courageous, you are walking into your promise and you will take others with you!