Thursday, February 3, 2011
Being a military soldier, wife or family member is truly a call. Although, some of us may question what we do daily! Our lives are filled with the unknown, such as where we might live? How long will we be there? Who will we meet? What is the next assignment? There are constant changes and transitions having to be made. This sometimes can cause loneliness, fear, stress and anxiety at times.
Every new duty station has its challenges. But we have to keep in mind that with every challenge is an opportunity for victory. Some of them are small at first as you transition into new places, but eventually you establish yourself in the new territory that you were assigned to. After awhile you begin to gain a better understanding of the area around you and how you might begin to fit in. There begins to be less confusion and life begins to flow and make sense again. But before you know it, it is time to do it all over again because there are new orders in hand. This is the call of a military life!
How does the average military family do it? They must learn to take on the mindset of a soldier who knows what it takes to survive the challenges set before him or her. One of the sayings that I remember most as a young soldier myself was, “Suck it up and drive on!” Meaning, accept the challenge and do whatever it takes to succeed!
Today, I want to look at the first chapter of Joshua in the bible. It is a book that chronicles Joshua’s conquests. We learn through this book that he didn’t possess the promise land all at once, but merely one victory at a time. This should be an encouragement and example to us all because as humans we have the tendency to want victory all at once. When this happens, we sadly overlook the process, rather the everyday victories.
We all need to learn to walk out the promises of God step by step, day by day, because when we try and rush the process we become overwhelmed and defeated easily. Sometimes our processes seem slow, but that is what I call real possession!
When you read the first chapter of Joshua, you will see that the Lord tells them at least three times to “be bold and courageous. Apparently, God knows that it is human nature for people to fear, especially when faced with the unknown. Fear is a natural response but God requires a faith response . Joshua is a man without fear. He literally accepts God’s call without hesitation, questions, or doubts. Instead, he does whatever it takes to be obedient to God. When God began to speak the promises to Joshua, he listened and received them in his heart. He acted on his faith immediately because he trusted God was with him.
What does it mean to be bold and courageous? One of the definitions to the word “strong” in the Hebrew translation is to establish oneself firmly. The word “courageous” means to persist, to determine. Keeping the promises of God is necessary as we live out our lives doing His will.
In the first chapter of Joshua, he takes up a command of faith which immediately places God’s mantle of Authority on him. He establishes (strong) himself in the LORD and determines himself to succeed and persist (courageous) to posses the land that God promised them.
In other words, he is in Possession Mode! When you choose to act in faith, becoming bold and courageous it knocks fear from its authority over you and instead places God’s power on you! Faith is contagious and you see this reaction from the Israelites as they respond to Joshua’s example. They choose to follow him without any doubt or fear. It was the same reaction that Joshua gave God. In the end, Joshua and the Israelites successfully crossed over the Jordan River into the Promise land. The Jordan River in a way can represent our flesh as humans. Our flesh can respond in many ways to trials. Emotions keep us from reaching the promises of God. Fear, anxiety, insecurity, pride are just some. Being bold and courageous is what God commands us to be! Let us follow Joshua’s example so that we too can enter into our Promise Land.
How do we become obsessed to posses the promises of God in our lives?
1. Know God’s promises.
You must read and study the word of God which helps build your faith. Faith comes through reading the Word of God.
2. Declare the promises of God.
Recite them daily, write them down. Post them for you to see. (Habakkuk 2:2 )
3. Have a vision and know your role.
God gave Joshua a vision. A man without a vision will perish. (Proverbs 29:18) Set goals and place an allotted time to them. If you don’t have a vision or goal, start with God’s word.
4. Be in motion- act on faith
God can’t meet you sitting down! Faith without works is dead.(James 2:20,26) To whom much is given, much is required.(Luke 12:48)
5. Have accountability
6. Be disciple or mentored.
Joshua’s mentor was Moses. Throughout scripture, you will see many men and women being trained up by someone.
7. Persevere (Be courageous, determining yourself to persist)
8. Be faithful and obedient
Being strong and courageous is more than just feelings; it is the key to possess the things
of God. The promises of God are rightfully your inheritance. What are you willing to do today to possess yours?