Joshua 1:6-9 (NKJ)
6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”
Question: Why do we need courage? We need courage to be brave in the face of fear. Fear is our enemy. Any kind of fear is our enemy. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of resistance, fear of opportunity, fear of people, fear of leadership. Fear is going to raise its ugly head in us any time we face a challenge, courage is the answer to that fear. Courage is important.
In Chapter one of Joshua it says be strong, take courage, and not fear four times. God is trying to get across to Joshua that Courage is important to leadership.
Why do we need courage?
1. For the pursuit of the dream vs 6
a. Owning the dream takes courage.
b. Think about the disciples after Jesus ascended. They had to rely on the Holy Spirit to give them power to be courageous, most of them all the way to their death.
c. The enormity of the dream can intimidate you (just another word for fear)
d. The enemies of the dream can sidetrack you.
iii. Personal doubt
e. others opinions of the dream can scare us.
i. The only opinion that matters about the dream is Gods.
2. To do what’s right vs 7
a. It takes courage to be a leader because real leaders do what’s right even when its not popular. Even when its hard, even when no one else is.
b. It takes courage to stick to the plan
c. Joshua did what was right even when those following him didn’t.
d. Think of the Apostle Paul when he called Peter out for his obvious hypocrisy.
3. Fear itself vs 8-9
a. You have to have courage as a leader simply to combat fear. Not fear of things but fear itself. Fear paralyzes, it puts a pause in your purpose.
b. You have to have courage to push fear back when all your circumstances are screaming you should be afraid. God said to Joshua do not be afraid do not be dismayed. In other words don’t let anxiety rule you.
4. Fear of leading people vs 16-18
a. Jeremiah 1….do not be afraid of their faces.
b. Courage in the face of responsibility for people
c. Courage in the face of the inconsistency of people
d. Courage in the face of the complaints of people
e. Courage in the face of the imperfection in people.
Courage is the ability to look fear in the face, and keep moving forward. If we are going to lead to progress, then fear can not rule us. Opinion can not rule us. Courage must be our central charecteristic. Progress is necessary but not inevitable. Someone has to lead to it. So lets lead, and see people’s lives changed because we are not afraid to do it!