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The Lord Says To You Today - "Be Strong!"
"...a strong heart makes a strong arm." - Charles Spurgeon
"...fear will enervate you." - Adam Clarke
1. Do you feel as though you are venturing into new territory for the Lord?
Has He called you to "step out of your boat" and "walk on the waters" - so to speak? Do you feel as though you are called out of your comfort zone into an area - spiritually speaking - that is filled with enemies so numerous, mighty, and of gigantic stature? Do you feel as though you are surrounded by formidable obstacles - insurmountable walls and high fences?
Read what Moses said to Joshua and the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 31:6,7 before they ventured forth into the Promised Land - "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it."
Notice what God said here - "Be strong and of a good courage..." In other words, take heart...play the man...stand firm in the faith...act like a hero...be vigorous...be valiant...and be determined and confident.
How is that possible?
"...for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee..." Don't tremble...don't fear...and don't be intimidated by the menacing opposition of the enemy. Take encouragement from the continued Presence and Divine Power of your covenant God. Through Him, you will do valiantly. Through Him, you will do victoriously.
2. Has God called you to a work that seems "bigger than life"? Do you feel inadequate for the task?
Read the charge that God gave to Joshua after Moses' death as found in Joshua 1:6-7,9 - "Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest...Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
Notice what the Lord asked Joshua - "Have not I commanded thee?" - In other words, it was no mere man who called and commissioned him for the task. God Almighty is the One who commanded the work to be done and, resultantly, would bring it to fruition. He is the everlasting I Am Who is faithful to His Promises and able to perform all things.
"Be strong and of a good courage...Only be thou strong and very courageous...Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed..." - Joshua was a person of great courage and resolution. However, here he was faced with a work that was great and difficult and with a people who were perverse and ungovernable. Hence, God commanded him to "be strong" and play the man to the uttermost. He was to make the Promise and Presence of God his stay - "...for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
"...be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed..." - Fear is the greatest paralyzer in stopping the people of God from venturing forth. As already mentioned, Joshua was faced with several challenges - numerous and powerful enemies...the difficulties stemming from a discontented and unmanageable people...as well as his own feelings of inadequacy for the assigned service. At no time could he allow fear or discouragement to stop him. He was to draw strength from the word of the Lord spoken to him.
3. Do you feel as though the enemy has gathered forces against you and your family? Does it seem as though he has come in "like a flood" against you and yours?
In Joshua 10, we read how five kings - "the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon"(Joshua 10:23) - "ganged up" on the Israelites. Nonetheless, Joshua, as their commander, had this word from the Lord for them - "And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight"(Joshua 10:24-25).
"...put your feet upon the necks of these kings...Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of a good courage..." - This is what God plans on doing to all of your enemies. He will place them into your hands and then give you the power to tread on their necks. Don't fear or be dismayed at the number of them. Don't let that terrify you or hold you back in any way. Just simply go on valiantly in subduing them. You are promised the victory each time.
4. Are you facing a great spiritual battle right now? Do you realize that if you don't fight hard against the enemy then he will win and you will be his servant?
In 1 Samuel 4:9, we get an inside view into the thoughts of the Philistines who were up against the Israelites. Even though all they had to depend on was manly strength, they were going to do their best in exerting themselves to the uttermost. When they saw their odds, they stirred up each other to fight the more stoutly - "Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight." One thing was for certain - they were going to win the battle and not become the servants of the Israelites.
5. Are you facing a "Giant" in your life today? Has everyone in your family succumbed to this "thing" and now it is attacking you? What are you going to do about it?
In 1 Samuel 17:32, we get a picture of David's courage and strength in his God. He said to Saul and the cowering Israelite army as they fled from the Giant Goliath - "...Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine." Even though this Philistine was gigantic, mighty, and braggadocios, David said that he would face him. He encouraged the Israelites to show courage and not to allow this man of great stature to turn them into cowards or cause them to lose all hope.
God is saying to you today - "Let not your heart fail because of your Giant." "Go and fight with this Philistine" as David fought Goliath - in the name of the Lord!
6. Do you feel as though you are in the midst of the fiercest spiritual battle of your life - with the front of the battle being against you before and behind?
Israel found themselves right in the middle of the fiercest battle. The Ammonites called on the Syrians to help fight them. Consequently, the people of God were surrounded by enemy troops. However, in 2 Samuel 10:11-12, we find Joab encouraging his brother Abishai with these words - "And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth Him good." The word that went forth was - "Be of good courage." In other words, charge the more furiously against the enemy. Do your utmost for your God, family, and country.
7. Is your faith being sorely tested right now because of the "king of Assyria" and his multitude who have you outnumbered?
Sennacherib, king of Assyria, "purposed to fight against Jerusalem." Nonetheless, Hezekiah spake comfortably to his people with these words as found in 2 Chronicles 32:7-8 - "Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah." He encouraged the Israelites to keep down their fears...to resolve to hold out...and to rest themselves on the Presence of the Lord and His power to relieve them.
Throughout the Scriptures, we find the Israelites facing one challenge after another. In each case, we find the Lord encouraging them with this same word - "Be strong..." They could do that because they had His Word and Presence to back them up.
You may be reading this message today and find yourselves in the midst of the fiercest spiritual battle of your life. God is saying to you - "Be strong...I am with you." As the Israelites, rest yourself on this Word from the Lord. His Presence is with you. There are more with you than with your enemy. Don't allow fear to paralyze you and rob you of your victory.
The Lord is saying to you today - "Be strong and of a good courage! Be strong!"
Go after the devil with all of your might - knowing that you are going to win in this fight!
You have God's word on that - and we know that He cannot lie!
May God Bless His Word.