At First Baptist Dallas, we take the Great Commission seriously. Our church is working to transform the world with God’s word… one life at a time. As individual Christians, however, we often find ourselves somewhat afraid to do the very thing God has called us to do.
In scripture, Joshua exemplified courage and commitment to the Lord and God blessed and rewarded his faithfulness. You too have been called to courageously serve the Lord. You can fulfill that calling by remembering these three timeless truths from the life of Joshua.
1. Have courage and confidence in the Lord.
After God freed the Israelites from bondage in Egypt and led them to the brink of the Promised Land, He commanded them to go take possession of the land. But the nation rebelled out of fear and argued that they would be defeated by the enemy inhabitants. Only Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb were willing to obey God. Joshua pleaded with the people, “Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid... the Lord is with us.” Although Joshua recognized there were dangerous enemies in the land, he found courage and confidence in the Lord.
Unfortunately, the people did not heed Joshua’s warning. As a result, they were not permitted to enter the land. Only Joshua and Caleb were later permitted to lead the next generation into the Promised Land and enjoy God’s favor and blessing. The rest missed the opportunity to see God’s inheritance for them because they responded to His call in fear.
Remember, “God has not given us a spirit of fear (or timidity), but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Like Joshua, we might recognize that we face daunting circumstances, but we should find courage and confidence in the Lord, knowing that Jesus Christ is with us always. When your confidence is in the Lord, you can courageously enter this world as a weekday warrior armed with the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God).
2. Courageously enter the land as a warrior.
Forty years later, God instructed Joshua to finish the mission. God encouraged Joshua to courageously enter the land, trusting the Lord would give him the victory. As Joshua prepared to lead the people into the Promised Land, God repeatedly challenged Joshua to be strong and courageous. But God also repeatedly promised Joshua that He would be with him: “Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Jesus Christ left the Church with a similar promise when He instructed His disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
You may find yourself marching into hostile territory as you go into the world. Scripture tells us we are aliens and foreigners here because this is not our home. However, the Lord Almighty has given you a mission – to serve as salt and light in this world, making disciples of all nations by sharing the love of Jesus Christ with those you encounter. Be strong and courageous! Do not be dismayed. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Lord Almighty, is with you wherever you go.
3. God will reward your commitment to Him.
God greatly blessed and rewarded Joshua for his faithfulness and commitment to Him. Joshua successfully led the nation of Israel into the Promised Land, and they temporarily experienced the blessing and rest God promised to them. God honored both Joshua and Caleb because they honored Him with their lives and followed Him fully when others refused.
God will also reward your commitment to Him. You may not always experience success or prosperity in this world. But God has promised an eternal reward to those who follow and serve Him. The Apostle Paul was motivated by this promise. Paul wrote to the church, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14).
Therefore, Christian, be strong and courageous! Pursue the mission Christ has entrusted to you by serving as salt and light in this world. Share the good news of Jesus Christ or invite someone to join your church family this week.