A call to repentance, a call to faith, a call to prayer, a call to worship, a call to war and a call to love. A call to the body of Christ and to men in the body of Christ to rise up and become the people of God they were called and destined to be.
So He commands us to be strong and of good courage and be not afraid for he is with us as he was with Joshua. In other words He's saying believe Me and believe in Me. Trust Me. Know that I am with you. Rise up and be the army of God you are called to be. Be strong and of good faith (courage). He calls us with the same command He called Joshua, To be mighty men of valor, mighty men of war, mighty men of faith. He calls us to be strong and of good courage and to not be afraid because He is with us where ever we go. He's commanding us not to be fearful and unbelieving like the ten other evil spies. You see it is evil in the sight of the Lord to be fearful and unbelieving. Joshua had already passed that test way before but here again as God raises him up to be a leader He commands him to be strong and of good courage and to be not afraid but to trust and rely on God for He is with him.
The call doesn't change but gets stronger. We must grow in faith and valor and commitment and character. We must grow in prayer and worship. We must become good soldiers of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3
So many of us in the body of Christ walk around as weak wounded soldiers that can barely stand up; as baby sheep that cannot walk and are fearful and need a pastor to milk us with a bottle and tell us everything will be alright. Sorry to disappoint you but regardless of what many pastors might say everything won't be alright if you don't rise up to become the man or woman of God you're called to be and destined to be and commanded to be. You will do more than forfeit your destiny in this life but according to the Word of God you forfeit it in the life to come. You see it's disobedience to not be strong and of good courage and not be afraid but trust in Him who is with you. You see the only victors are those who rise up in His strength and overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony who love not their own lives unto the death. Those whose faith is so completely in Him that they valiantly rise above the tide and overcome and show their testimony and nothing can by any means hurt them. Not life nor death or any other thing because they're able to say: nevertheless I live but yet not I but Christ lives within me.
Paul begins chapter 2 of Timothy by saying therefore my son BE STRONG in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The same commandment given to Joshua. When the Lord says to Paul : My strength is made perfect in weakness, what is He saying?
Is He saying it's OK to walk around all weak? No! He's saying Don't be focused on your weaknesses but be strong in faith and be strong in My strength.
We need to understand it is a command. God began to get really irritated with Moses over such and issue. Humility and meekness are one thing but shrinking back from the call of God because of fearfulness or low self esteem is another and is unacceptable. God did not say to Moses: OK, I understand and that's acceptable. I'll just get somebody else. No rather God got irritated and commanded Moses to get in line with it. If He was going to fulfill His call and destiny it wasn't gonna be enough to just hang along with the rest of the gang and let someone else lead. Like us all he was called to be a leader and we're all called to be kings and priests and have the same prerequisites. He had said to Moses; just as He later said to Joshua, Certainly I will be with thee. Ex. 3:12. But after speaking to him out of the burning bush and telling him who He is that sends him and even doing a couple miracles for him like making his rod turn into a snake and turning his hand leprous and back again Moses is still timid and wants God to choose someone else. Ex.4:13 So God gets irritated- And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know he can speak well. So thats how the Levites come into the picture. God did not let Moses shrink back from his call and duty to be a leader but just gave him a little help, a mouthpiece. But it was a close call. So many times what you read in the books of the history of Israel right before God brought judgment is that the anger of the Lord was kindled against them. Well I would have hated to be in Moses shoes at that moment because the anger of the Lord was kindled against him. You see God was calling him to be strong and of good courage, to rise up and meet the challenge because the great I AM was with him. But Moses was still shrinking back and that made the Lord angry. You see God commands us to be strong and of good faith and expects us to be so and is not very happy when we're not.
You see Jesus responding the same way. He is not very happy with the disciples unbelief and rebukes them time after time for it. Just like the children of Israel go and worship a golden calf right after having seen almighty God open up the red sea. So these disciples like so many of us are constantly having to be rebuked for their unbelief. After all, they see Him feed five thousand and still the winds and waves of the sea and on top af all that heal all manner of sickness and disease and cast out demons and even raise the dead. You see Jesus is quite agitated in Matt.17:17. He says in response to the failure of his disciples to be able to cast out a demon, Oh faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to Me. Later when His disciples ask why they could not cast him out His response was to tell them that nothing would be impossible to them if they just had faith as a grain of mustard seed. Then He goes on to say: Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Oh! We have a secret to this here, prayer, and even fasting. So we need to be prayed up like Joshua was who tarried still in the Tabernacle to stay with the Lord if we want to be strong in faith. Why? Because Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God; the Spirit spoken word that only comes to you when you're spending time with Him. So then were the disciples excused because they were not prayed and fasted up? No. Why else would Jesus responded with weariness to their unbelief? He told them this kind comes not out but by prayer and fasting but He didn't have to pray and fast right then and there. He was already prayed and fasted up. But they were not but it was there responsibility to have faith and persevere in the situation and pray and fast rather than give up Jesus rebuked them along with the whole generation as being faithless and perverse and how long could He put up with them. You see the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb.11:6. Because God expects us to have faith and to approach Him in faith. The Word says that He that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
He says if we lack wisdom or anything we must ask in faith and nothing wavering...
.... for let not that man that wavereth think that he shall receive anything from the Lord. James 1:5,6. You see if we're going to serve God we must stand up like men and gird our loins about with truth and take up the shield of faith. The Lord responded to Job after all the major trials he experienced and said: Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me. Job 38:3.
You see we must understand that when Jesus says we must become like little children He's talking about having the faith of a child. But we must be like men when it comes to maturity and warfare. You see Paul says in Ephesians 4:14 that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine..
.....etc. So there comes a time to grow up and be as men and grid up ourselves and fight the good fight of faith as soldiers of Jesus Christ, and warriors for God doing exploits for God, laying hold of eternal life. For the Kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent take it by force. Matt.11:12. So lets rise up and be strong and of good courage and be pleasing to God. For God is looking for a Joshua generation that will obey His command. The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits. Daniel 11:32
About Bob Ross Thomas
Bob Thomas is a graduate of Youth With A Mission School Of The Bible in Tyler, Tx. and a former mission worker and Spanish speaker. He is an evangelist, a worship leader, a musician and song writer. He is founder and director of Joshua Call Ministries. He resides in Nashville, Tn. with his wife Beatriz and children, Rebekah and Joshua David. He is also author of Worship- The Highest Calling!