It is in the recognition and submission to the Lordship of Jesus that we gain courage. Without submission, we are left insecure.
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:13-15 NIV
God had just commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous. Now it was Joshua's time to shine. He was about to blaze a trail through the Promised Land, conquering nations, going from one victory to the next. But, Joshua was about to learn an important lesson about courage.
Real courage comes through surrender to God. When Joshua initially met the stranger near Jericho, he was about to activate his courage and confront the man. Joshua asked the man, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" The man responded with the most important statement, "I am the commander of God's army. Recognize that you are standing on holy ground." In other words, he was calling Joshua to submit to his authority.
It is in the recognition and submission to the Lordship of Jesus that we gain courage. Without submission, we are left insecure. Courage comes from being protected by One higher than ourselves. Courage that is self-sourced will always end in fear and frustration.
Joshua needed to learn that the key to victory in the Promised Land would be his submission to God. His personal bravery would not be enough. From that place of submission, Joshua received the strategy for defeating his first enemy. We lose courage when the path to victory does not seem clear. Submission brings clarity for how to gain victory. Submission brings courage.
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