Originally Posted by Mike Young February 2007
A number of guys I have spoken with since the Iron Sharpens Iron conference have commented on Crawford Loritts’ message on courage during the final main session. He gave some insights on the concept of courage that I had never considered. They are powerful thoughts that I not only want to incorporate into my own life, but I want to make sure my children understand them as well. Crawford used Joshua’s experience (Joshua 1:1-9) as the basis for the message. Here are some of my notes from his session…
First of all… Courage isn’t just a commodity that someone might have or hold to store up.
Courage is the stuff of impact and action.
You don’t just have courage as a character trait. Courage only makes sense in the context of action. You have courage to do something. You can’t rightly say that a man has courage if he’s never done anything courageous. God will grant us courage for something. God came, in person to encourage Joshua…to give him courage for the task of leading the Children of Israel into the Promised Land.
Courage rests upon a clear assignment from God.
In Joshua’s case, there was no mistaking the mission. Joshua was prepared and trained as Moses’ apprentice. I get the sense that he had the skills for the job. But skills are only part of the equation. When you have an assignment, execution takes courage. Joshua had his mission, but it would take courage to step into it. At the very least, you and I are called to lead our families.
Courage rests upon the assurance of God’s presence.
As I talked with men about this message, several have commented on this thought from Crawford, “With God’s assignment, comes His resources.” Wow! What an encouraging thought. God will not give us a job to do without giving us the tools to do it. His job; His tools. We often get ourselves in a pickle when we try to do His work with our tools, or our work expecting His tools. Some of us are so far in left field that we fool ourselves into thinking we’re on mission from God when we are actually trying to do our work with our tools leaving God out of the equation completely. God assured Joshua that He would be with him as he was with Moses. His job; His tools.
Courage rests upon focused determination.
Three times in this passage Joshua is told by God to be strong and courageous. God knew that Joshua would face times of uncertainty and question. He knew that he would grow weary. God encourages him by saying stay the course. I know discouragement comes in my life. Even though I can be certain that God has called me to do a certain thing… I can grow weary and discouraged. As he expanded on this point, Crawford shared a couple of other quotes that were moving to me….
- Jesus has not called us to a playground; He has called us to a battlefield.
- You know when you’re flying over the right target when you’re getting shot at.
- The very nature of leadership means to be alone. You have to be what you want others to become.
Courage is resourced and driven by the word of God.
Near the end of his pep talk with Joshua, God says; 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. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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. Joshua 1: 7-8
Men, can you see that prosperity and success in the things of God depend upon our personal investment in knowing, understanding and applying God’s word?
So, God called Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. At the very least, he has called you to lead your family. Could you benefit from reviewing these words of encouragement from God to Joshua on a regular basis? Men, mark this passage in your Bible and refer to it often. I do.
Check out this related post from July 2017 for a few resources to help you create opportunities for your children, especially your boys and young men, encouraging them to be men of bold faith.