Be courageous: There is an epidemic of weakness that is sweeping into the church. The culture is infiltrating the church, leaving us fearful of leading and making decisions. Some of us are discouraged in our ministries because we have refused to do what God has told us to do, not because he hasn't told us. Nothing in life or in ministry ever happens apart from courage. Somebody has to pull the trigger. There is no such thing as courage apart from mission, just as there is no such thing as faith apart from challenge. You're not just courageous to be courageous, but you are courageous for something.
Courage doesn't mean that I am not afraid. It means that I fear God more than I fear my environment. It means that I trust in divine resources more than the resources of man. I read somewhere that If we are to be courageous in the Lord, it must rest upon four things: 1. A clear assignment from God, 2. A clear assurance of God's presence 3. A focused determination. 4. And the Word of God. The text that makes this point the most to me is Joshua 1. In the next few weeks I will be blogging on each of these things. So today I want to focus in on the clear assignment from God.
As a Pastor this chapter has been a tremendous source of comfort to me when I am facing adversaries in and out of church and yes even in me. I am sure that Joshua had to feel fearful and inadequate to step into the shoes of the great Moses. But Joshua was able to begin his ministry with courage because he knew that his assignment came from God. God tells Joshua to arise and lead his people over the Jordan to a land that he has already prepared for them. Your courage will rise when you have confidence in the assignment. What is your assignment?
Though we all have our different assignments in life, we all share one single assignment above all and that is to Be His people, to be his light of the World, to be his salt of the earth. I am concerned that we are raising a generation of young people to be do-ers rather than be-ers. To many people are going out to DO the work of the Lord without ever becoming what God has purposed for them to be. Thank God for the ministry He's given to us, but we should never forget that being his people is our primary assignment. Please my brothers and sisters don't let doing become your primary objective over being. Before trying to be a choir member, a Usher, a Deacon, a missionary or whatever, you must first be about our Father's business of being His people. Have you ever noticed that God's asignments has always been beyond our abilities, our budgets and our imagination. I believe many of us are suffering from burnout because we spend to much time focusing on the bigness of the assignment instead of the bigness of our God.
There is a record number of Pastors and leaders walking away from their assignments like never before, But I hear in Philppians 1: 6 saying " Being confident ( courage) of this, He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." So I say speak to all of God's people to be strong and of good courage, be not afraid. There is a word of caution that I believe that is hidden in our text that is not readily noticed. It is the caution of being properly prepared for the assignment. God has been preparing Joshua for a long time before he took on this responsibility.
Joshua was Moses right hand man and he witnessed a great deal of how God works and what God expects from his leaders. So the warning is to be prayerful about not only for the assignment that is given to you, but also about the timing. I am a prime example of one who knew his assignment from God and was willing to do it, but was so wrong about God's timing. I needed more time to be prepared before I launched out into my assignment.
The preparation is not about preparing us until the assignment is no longer too big for us, but rather it is to prepare our walk of fath to complete the assignment. The assignment given to us will always be bigger than ourselves, but rather the preparation is to prepare us to see and trust God for his bigness over any asignment that is given to us.Joshua knew the assignment was too big for him, but he courageously took on the assignment because He knew that it was God's assignment and God is big enough tol bring it to pass, I speak to you my brothers and sisters don't be afraid and be courageous for the Lord your God has given you an assignment that cannot fail because the assignment came from Him.