Thursday, June 5, 2014

All Your Heart: Strong and Very Courageous

This post is part of a continuing study on The Greatest Commandment
Use that link to read other articles in this series.

Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:5b-9

Courageous Because You Care

With this ongoing discussion of what it means to love The Lord with all your heart, we have focused on the interpretation of "heart" that focuses on what we would call courage. Courage (or boldness) is the virtue which allows one to do what is right in the face of opposition. Clearly, when discussing courage in scripture, one cannot do so without coming across the first chapter of Joshua.

Interestingly enough, the virtue that corresponds with "courage" is humility. Humility is the act of thinking of oneself less while thinking more of God's will and glory. When one looks at their life in light of eternity, it follows that the individual will be emboldened to step out in faith and do what God has commanded. The problem comes when we take our eyes off of God's word and gaze at our circumstances.

As Joshua entered the land, it was imperative that he always remember God's words. Notice words like "careful" and "meditate." These are not impulsive words. These are words that imply deliberation. We are to be deliberate as we study and simply read God's word. Not only are we to be deliberate in the reading of scripture, but we are also to be deliberate as we apply the word to our lives. Be careful when you step, that wherever possible your footfall may be in the direct center of God's will.

Note that God's presence is directly behind the call to be courageous. The Christian also has God's presence as a promise. We are always carrying around within us the dying and resurrected Christ. The life we lead is led in his power. In light of this, why should we be anything but courageous as we live for him? As a result of the presence and power of his love, how could we not respond with courageous love for him?

Finally, realize that courage is nothing less than a command. Courage is not something that you have or don't have, courage is something you do. It's like running. You may or may not consider yourself a runner, but if you laced up your shoes and pounded the pavement, you were just running. Likewise, if you stood up and did something even when it wasn't popular, you were just courageous. God commands us to stand up and live a certain way, even when the world's opinion is contrary.

That's called courage.

That's called loving the Lord with all your heart.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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