The Path of Spiritual Courage
Courage is one of the most repeated terms in in all of Scripture.
Here are just a few, first Moses and God tell Joshua to be strong and courageous because God goes with him and will never leave them.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you…Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land of which I swore to them, and I will be with you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6,23
And again, God tells Joshua that as He was with Moses, He’ll be with Joshua, He’ll never leave or forsake him. He is with him wherever Joshua goes.
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 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.” – Joshua 1:5,9
What is most important in these passages that should not be missed is the connection between God commanding us to be courageous and God guaranteeing His Presence with us. He doesn’t command us to be courageous on our own, He gives us His Presence as a source of our courage. We must trust God’s Presence with us!
Charles Spurgeon reiterated this point so well when he said, “Blessed are those who can realize that Divine companionship was the apostle’s source of courage and strength. Every humble believer can claim it and can rejoice in the possession of it.”
Gaining Access to Power, Courage and Boldness
When God’s Spirit fills us, we are given power, courage, and boldness. This is seen throughout book of Acts. That same power is available to us today. When the disciples prayed, the Spirit filled them, and boldness/courage happened!
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Act 1:8
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness”. – Acts 4:29-31
I love this quote from John MacArthur: “We do not have great faith by having great courage, we have great courage when we have great faith.” Listen to this promise. The key to accessing boldness is to first have faith, it’s a precursor to courage and something we must actively pursue in order to prepare for the moments in life when we are faced with a situation that requires bravery.
Developing a Brave Heart
Interestingly enough the reverse is also true. In Revelation 21:8 it is clear there is a correlation between cowardice and unbelief, just like there is a connection between courage and belief. If you are experiencing a lack of courage, taking a pulse of our level of trust and intimacy with our Savior is the first place to begin a journey to fearlessness.
The call for courage and responsibility demanded of Joshua as the Israelites crossed the Jordan is the same call to courage that applies to you and me.
God commanded us to be courageous so others can share in a glorious inheritance. People around us depend upon our courage, therefore we must trust God’s Presence, be filled with God’s Spirit, and believe God’s Promises!