Monday, March 22, 2010

Courageously Strong

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened…For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go

Joshua 1:9b

My name means “strong.” No matter what name book I consult my name’s “root” is the same: valor, strength. When my father named me he had no idea of my future, but, I will say, without a doubt he gave me a gift. Long ago I stopped counting the number of times I have needed valor and strength when facing paralyzing fear.

Joshua was given the huge responsibility of leading thousands of Israelites across the Jordan into God’s promised land. But, before he takes off on this holy adventure God has a few more promises, with provisos—I will not leave youBe strong and courageous. Four times in the first chapter of Joshua God dwells on the characteristics of strength and courage.

It has taken strength and courage to get to the point where Joshua is now standing--the threshold of his future. God has been with the Israelites through their entire desert march and they have landed in heaps of trouble; needing all the strength and courage they can muster. But, now God tells them that their future will be more of the same—being strong and courageous will be the standard for living in their “promised” land.

Much of my Christian life has been focused on claiming the promise of God’s presence. It’s true--God is with me. But, God asks something in return, requiring action on my part—living in this land courageously strong. This is what will defeat my fears.

On the days when Israel moved forward in strength and courage, God fought for them. When they sat back, waiting or whining, disaster struck. God wants to fight for me. The hard question is am I willing to live my life courageously strong?

Jesus, thank you for your continual presence with me.
You never promised an easy life,
only that you will always be around.
Help me to live with strength and courage
as a response to your promise

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