How often do we find some version of this admonition in the Bible? It was most famously spoken in preparing Joshua to lead the Israelites into Canaan, but a version of it is scattered throughout scripture so often, I think my time would be more effectively spent otherwise, than to get an exact count. The point is, the principle of courage and over-coming fear is one often repeated in the Bible—and for good reason.
In our natural state, perceiving with our natural mind, we tremble at some of the things God asks of us. To our carnal selves, spiritual things appear impossible. Case in point is the above mentioned occasion. Joshua was to lead the Israelites into a land they had a right to, because of the promise of God. Yet the land was inhabited by giants, and well armed citizens within fortified cities.
The previous generation had doubted and died in the desert. They were used to living in slavery and having everything handed to them by their masters—faith was new to them. Joshua and Caleb had not doubted, and Joshua was to lead the Israelites into this land now.
We know the story. How they overcame against all odds, because of God’s faithfulness. But they didn’t know exactly how it would end when they were in the middle of it. Sound familiar?
Many times we hear the promises of God, but then we see the giants. (Click here for more on giants) The giants and adversaries in the Old Testament were physical types and shadows of spiritual things. We battle not against flesh and blood according to Ephesians 6:12. We now have giants and enemies in the spiritual realm.
They come against us in many different ways, and make the things God promises to us look like impossibilities, with giants and mountains between you and the promise. Maybe the enemy is devouring God’s blessing on your business, your ministry, your family, or you name the area under your authority. Or maybe God is leading you into new territory that looks to be way beyond your scope or ability.
This is where we look to all these admonitions throughout scripture to take courage, and to fear not. These are life giving words. The word is living and active. We receive these admonitions by faith, watching the success stories that come after the admonitions in the Bible and we can be encouraged.
Isaiah 55:10-11—For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.—ESV
This is a wonderful witness by God to His own word, and I think we can believe every bit of it. How about you?