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      Courage

      Joshua 23:6-13 [ NKJV] - “Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, and lest you go among these nations...but you shall hold fast to Lord your God...one man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He has promised you. Therefore take diligent heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God. Or else, if indeed your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish form this good land which the Lord your God has given you.”

      Many times we, like Joshua, are told to be courageous. There is opposition out there which will take courage to face and defeat. The good news is that God has promised that He is the one Who will do the fighting - if we will let Him. A thousand to one is not very good odds unless God is on your side! [Adino the Eznite went 800 to 1 and won - 2 Sam. 23:8.]

      But it takes courage and faith to be dramatically outnumbered and not give ground. We need courage to keep our ground as we see the overwhelming numbers advancing and faith to believe that we can actually win. This applies in every area of life. Whether we are personally facing the foe, or it is our family that is under attack, or our church, or our nation...

      However, there are two things I would like to point out.

      First, every promise of God is conditional. At the very least they are conditional on faith and obedience. If we don’t have faith that God is in control and that we will see victory in the situation, then we will quite likely be bowled over. [God is merciful and faithful, He’ll see that we get more opportunities to exercise our faith.] And we must be walking, to the best of our ability, in the ways of God. If we are indulging in sin, God will allow our enemies to overwhelm us until we are sick of sin and ready to repent. We see that time and time again in the Old Testament, especially in Judges.

      When we are going into battle on any level, we need to make sure our own hands are clean. Remember Ai [Joshua 7]? We need to repent and deal with sin in our lives, families, churches, and nations before we expect God to grant victory in the challenges we are facing.

      Second, when we are in battle with clean hands we need to remember it is God’s battle. The odds are unimportant. In fact, the greater the odds the more glory God gets. That does not mean we sit on our hind quarters. We must do the fighting, believing that it is God moving through us.

      One of the great dangers is that we fall for the humanist/socialist idea that the answer is found in political action. I am not saying that political action is not important. It is one of many avenues that God can use to bring change. But if we are looking to the government to solve the problems instead of looking to God we are in trouble. God is the answer and He does not require a majority vote to get things done. As the saying goes, “One and God is a majority.” All God requires is a faithful man or woman [or group] who will stand in faith on His Word and follow instructions. Nations will tremble and situations will change, but it starts in us.

      Another great danger is the opposite attitude some have that we simply give it all to Jesus and let Him do it. While it is true we must progress through faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, we must do the actions. The Bible instructs us again and again to take action. Look at Joshua. He did not sit back and wait for the walls of Jericho to fall down. He knew it would be a work of God, but he also knew there were actions he had to take. If he did not, the walls would have remained standing!

           

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