Season 1 - Week 3
“What if courage is something we're told to do?”
Joshua was aware of his shortcomings compared to Moses. How often do we find ourselves thinking we should be like another leader? If only we were as talented, as well read in the bible, as likeable by the youth, as influential as our peers, as bold as our forefathers. Perhaps then we could make a difference?
Joshua, grieving the loss of one of the greatest people known to their nation, now has to take over Moses’ role. In our weakest moments, when we don’t know what is to come, God knows that we need His encouragement, His promises of always being there, so we can do our assignment.
As youth pastors we may not be sent to take over land or go to war, but we do have counter cultural wars, more manipulative in nature. Staying true to ourselves along with obedience to God is all that is required.
One day in the Philippines, I shared with my pastor my inability to pray for healing. Believing I was not anointed, I would find a more anointed friend and ask for them to help a person needing prayer. Later that day we passed a woman in her late seventies, cataracts in her eye, one leg shorter than the other, unable to walk without a crutch. My leader instantly began to pray, and called me to join in. I hesitated. But in knowing my disobedience to taking courage, I couldn’t let fear win. As we began to pray we watched this woman’s leg grow out. She got up and began dancing in the corridor, her sister was clapping, the team were praising God and I was stood, dumbstruck.
‘I just needed you to join me Carrie,’ came that all too familiar voice.
Joshua said yes, with a promise from the Lord that He would never leave. He led armies, prophesied, tackled people who were going astray and created room for God to break down the walls of Jericho. So often we deflect the responsibility because we don’t feel we’re strong enough, worthy enough or even right for the role. Our only job is to say yes. With obedience comes great honour and great power to change and inspire.
Courage means we carry our weakness, openly, in our arms, hoping for the abundance of a good father to show up. It doesn’t look like dominance, or fight, or even the ability to be brave in things we don’t want to do. Courage is the poise and intention within our hearts that sets us up for those around us. We are loved by a magnificent God who uses our weaknesses as much as our strengths to bring joy, peace and serenity to the world.
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittitecountry—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against youall the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
God told Joshua not to be discouraged. In other words, to have courage. Carrie talked about hesitating when being asked to pray for healing. Are there times when you hesitate too? Be reminded of God's constant presence in those moments. Could this give you courage to act?
Take courage today in whatever assignment you’ve been given, and know you were designed for such a day as this, to not deflect responsibility but to enjoy the fact you were chosen to carry out God’s work.