[Jos 1:5 KJV]
“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.” [Jos 1:9 KJV]
It has been said that, “words form worlds” and also that “the pen (implying the words they record) is mightier than the sword.” Both statements drive home the idea that words are powerful! We have all experienced their impact; blessed and encouraged by a comforting word spoken in due season, or wounded by a negative word spoken at the wrong time.
Words are important. Words change lives. Words change worlds. They produce change because they have meaning. They have significance. Words spoken from your heart are the beginning of change. Mark Cooper said in his book Edelweiss Pirates ‘Operation Einstein’, “life has no remote controls, you have to get up and change it yourself”, and that begins with a new way of thinking. When we begin to think differently new words begin to emerge from the well of our heart. New words are almost always a sign that a new level, a new reality, a new future is on the way. Jesus said, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” LK 6:45
I have always loved big words. Not just big because of their syllable count or the number of their characters, but big because of the character of their impact. For example here’s a big word, Brave. Now that’s a good word! It is interesting how one word opens a door to a series of others. Words in a sequence communicate a message carrying the collective power of each word. Like particles of light each carrying a quanta of energy forming a stream of collective illumination.
For example if I say: “Be brave, you can dare to dream again.” This is a power-packed sentence filled with possibilities.
Big words are like tribal chieftains and they live in tribes with other words. When I think of the word brave I think of other words like: courage, strength, resolve, stamina, passion, and commitment. These are some of the words I associate with bravery. When I say these words others come to mind.
Let’s play a word association game. What word’s come to your mind when I say Brave? What about words like potential, possibilities, risk, dream! Out of these words comes another, a super-hero word. And it comes in the form of an idea; this super hero word is HOPE! Hope is music to our hearts. It is the rhythm of life beating out the cadence of faith and significance. We all long to matter! It is part of the human experience. And hope is the well from which significance is drawn. Hebrews chapter 11: 1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. From this passage we learn that faith can’t work without HOPE.
Bravery… Hope… Faith… Dream! These words live together. These are a family of powerful words belonging to a tribe called Victory whose citizens are called Overcomers!
In These Days We Need Faith Heroes…
Real Heroes are often thrust into leadership because they believe; they have faith for something others can’t see or touch! Leadership heroes produce hope in others through the vision they cast of the future! They understand that faith is not designed to be a mirror but a window. It is not a mirror into which we gaze to constantly examine ourselves compared to the challenges we face, but rather a window through which we look out into a world of possibilities and potential.
There are times when we are faced with challenges that test the very core of our being, of who we are. There are moments in history that call out for leadership, for sacrifice and service, as the proverbial deep calling out to deep. Its from these moments and seasons that heroes emerge.
Heroes trade in the markets of possibilities using the currency of hope! Not hype, not hyperbole. Great Heroes do not set out to be great, and certainly not heroes, but they find themselves thrust into some desperate situation or challenging occasion that makes a demand, which they arise to meet. Something in them stands up!
I heard Bishop Joseph Garlington once say, “Heroes are not born they are cornered”.
There is a real spiritual war raging around the world today. Christianity is under attack globally as never before. The rate of Christian martyrdom is unprecedented. We need brave courageous and daring Christians who are willing to look risk, potential and possibilities, in the face with passion, commitment, strength, and resolve to stand and dream again! “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S.Eliot
It was this sort of world in which Joshua, a hero in the faith, was called by God to lead Israel in the conquest of the Promise Land. Joshua was a warrior. Where Moses his predecessor was a teacher who had been seasoned in the wilderness for 40 years of isolation before being assigned to lead Israel out of bondage to Egypt, Joshua had been seasoned for 40 years of service as an assistant to Moses. In them we see contrasting leaders. One was trained through contemplative isolation. The other was trained through surrendered service; Moses was a teacher, Joshua was a General. Each faced different circumstances that made a leadership demand. God prepared them both to meet their unique challenge. They both became heroes of the faith and their lives tell an encouraging story of triumph over incredible circumstances.
What has God been preparing you for? What is the great need of your World that is calling out to you for a solution and for action? God knows just what He has equipped you for and what you can do.
Joshua was called to lead the Children of Israel into the Promise Land through military conquest. It was a huge challenge filled with opposition and war. But God told him two great things that no doubt became the foundation of his success. And from them we can we learn important lessons that can build our confidence and hope.
- The first key phrase of Joshua chapter 1 is: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you…”. To really seize your future you have to understand your past. And your confidence in the promise comes from a confidence in the one who made the promise. God is saying to Joshua. “I have proven myself… I have demonstrated my power. Remember the 10 plagues of Egypt; remember the Red sea that parted… Remember the Army that drowned… Remember the manna… Remember the river from a Rock… Remember Korah… Remember?”
“I haven’t changed. I didn’t bring you this far to leave you. Moses has finished his mission but I haven’t mine. And it was never about Moses! He wasn’t a magician. He wasn’t a god. He was my representative. He was my front man! Moses was successful because he joined himself to my purpose!” And so will you be!
- The second key phrase is: “I will not leave you nor forsake you…” “I won’t be missing in action when you need me. I will also not disappear in the heat of battle. It wasn’t a miracle Moses, it was a miracle me!!! And I’m not going anywhere!”
Like He told Jacob at the Bethel experience… “I will not leave you until I have fulfilled all that I have spoken to you!” Gen 28:15.
I’m glad we serve a God who finishes what he starts! You can be brave because of the God who’s got your back!
- You can dare to dream because God is with you! That’s right! The creator of the universe and beyond! The giver of life! The big kahuna, the force, the Word, the power; you fill in the blank. What you need when you need it!
- You can dare to dream again because you can count on God. He won’t leave you nor forsake you! The cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night taught Joshua about God’s abiding presence. He protects and blocks.
Don’t be afraid to dream! Don’t be afraid to reach, to stretch. Let hope arise in your heart! Describe the images that hope can see and speak the words to yourself and others. As you speak the words birthed in your heart faith will grow and begin to make a way for impossible things to happen.