Be Strong?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

I want to be strong. Don’t you? I mean, who sets a goal to become the ultimate weakling? We want to be strong!

We live in a culture which strives for strength – physical, financial, intellectual – even emotional. And why do people desire strength – followers of Jesus or not? It’s our desire to live problem free and absent of all worry, fear and anxiety. It’s our quest to be in control and above anything which could possibly take us down.

Just a casual review of media advertisements and entertainment options provides proof that human beings value strength. Our culture tells us that more education will help us get more money. More money will gain us more power. More power will create popularity. More popularity will provide community.

If we listen to the voices of the world we will find ourselves on a hamster wheel spinning for more. Striving. Achieving. Climbing. Stepping over and on top of someone else to get to the top to prove we are STRONG.

It’s all a lie. A big fat media hyped advertising lie! And the false promise that we’ll all be happy, successful, prosperous and united at the end of our striving for more? Well, just look at the state of our country. We’re a mess of division, distrust and intolerance. People in general are more stressed, on more medication, and filled with immeasurable anxiety over the future.

The thing is we know it’s a lie. We know it’s stinkin’ thinkin’. Yet even when we agree that the wheel isn’t making us stronger, we find it difficult to step off. We want to BE STRONG!

Besides, God tells us in His Word to be strong. Over and over again, scriptures admonish us to “be not afraid” and to “be strong”. “Be courageous”. It’s what we’re supposed to do. The way we’re supposed to live. We quote. We write. We memorize. We post. In a drive thru, fast food Christian culture, we’re trying to order up an entree of BE STRONG with a side of courageous.

HELP!

And there it is… Help! We begin to learn to be strong when we step off the wheel of our own striving, look up and ask God for help. I have tested this principle and it is quite true. School is in session. Training can begin when I simply admit that I don’t know how to be strong.

Why did God tell Joshua to be strong, to be courageous and not afraid?

How was Joshua to achieve strength, courage and fearlessness?

What did God want Joshua to learn from God’s command to be strong?

  • God wanted Joshua to be trained to trust God’s faithfulness, to obey, and to rely on God in everything he purposed to do.

As I awaken each day, preparing for spiritual battle, it’s essential that I go beyond the simple verse of the day quotables and look at the context of what God is teaching me. Be strong. It’s not a quick fix. Nor is it a pep talk. It’s a declaration of God’s character, and His servant’s (me) position of trust and service.

Spinning on the wheel of my own striving has never made me strong. It’s not taught me about God’s character. Nor did it teach me to trust God or believe He is a promise keeper.

Spinning. Striving. It made me tired. Discouraged. Hopeless. Fearful. But when my own strength gave out, I cried out to God for help. He was there. He heard me. And He arrived ready to teach.

Finally, I’m learning what it really means to be strong.

That’s how I see it. What do you think?

Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,

Lisa


10 thoughts on “Be Strong?

  1. Amen, Lisa! I am in that school of learning so much now too. He just keeps taking it deeper, showing me that HE is my strength. The next lesson is to be able to REJOICE in my weaknesses, because it’s there He is strong in me. One step at a time–I’m so glad He’s so patient with me!

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    1. He loves you so much Bettie, and His smile over you is so big! I just know he wants to carry you on his back and teach you of the joys of His heart. I think rejoicing might look different than the way I’ve defined it in the past, but I want to know the fullness of what He means by rejoice 💕. Agreeing with you, my friend!

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  2. Oops, pressed send by mistake…wasn’t done 😅. And this morning I reread this: Paton was working one day in his home on the translation of John’s Gospel—puzzling over John’s favorite expression pisteuo eis, to “believe in” or to “trust in” Jesus Christ, a phrase which occurs first in John 1:12. “How can I translate it?” Paton wondered. The islanders were cannibals; nobody trusted anybody else. There was no word for “trust” in their language.

    His native servant came in. “What am I doing?” Paton asked him. “Sitting at your desk,” the man replied. Paton then raised both feet off the floor and sat back on his chair. “What am I doing now?” In reply, Paton’s servant used a verb which means “to lean your whole weight upon.” That’s the phrase Paton used throughout John’s Gospel to translate to “believe in.”

    Morning Glory, Sept./Oct., 1997, p. 50

    I think to be strong, we have to learn to rest all our weight upon God – to trust Him with our whole heart – all its messiness – that He may cleanse us in His wonderful Promises that give us eyes of faith and a heart filled with a love that only He can give us…a daily growing and deeper rooting and heavier leaning 😊. Love this post of yours.

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      1. That research has come from my wrestling with the Word, as I have asked God to open my heart to receive Him. And each time I look into the root words in Hebrew and Greek, God reveals new nuggets that help me trust Him more and come to Him as a little child. As the good girl, I “swallowed” hard to understand passages but now I wrestle, wait, listen, seek and surrender, so God can root the truth deep into my heart. I am entering a true relationship with my Abba Father. He made me like this (someone who is filled with questions and loves to research and dig deeper and learn more and more) for a reason and He doesn’t want me to hide that but to bring it to Him. Learning, growing with you.

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      2. It’s who you are and who He made you to be. I live that you are embracing your true God identity. Keep digging please and sharing because I am learning too. 💕I love you!!

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