Be strong and of good courage

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 (Joshua 1:9, KJV)

The Lord commanded Joshua, Israel’s military General, to be strong and of a good courage as he prepared to face the battles in the land of Canaan. A similar command is giving to us in the New Testament in the context of spiritual warfare: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10, KJV). What does the Lord mean when He says we should be strong?

The power of God(dunamis) manifests in us in different ways. Many of us make the mistake of thinking the power of God is all about performing miracles, healing the sick, casting out demons, etc. Miracle-working power is only one aspect of the power of God.It is important to understand this truth. When God told Joshua to be strong above, He was not asking him to build up miracle-working power. Similarly, when He commands us to be strong in Eph. 6:10, He was not referring to miracle-working power.

The meaning of “be strong” is clearly seen in the context of Joshua 1:9 above. God was referring to inner, psychological strength, that is strength of heart. He was asking Joshua to be courageous, bold, and fearless. Yes, God’s power manifests in us as inner psychological strength. Do you know it takes the power of God  to maintain your cool in the midst of a crisis? It takes power  to be able  to believe God when everything else is contrary. It takes strength to forgive when the pain in your heart is screaming for you not to do it. In other words, everything that God has commanded us to do in Christianity requires strength of heart, and that strength comes from His power, the Holy Spirit in us! 

It is important to lean to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit in all its manifestations and not become too narrow-minded with our hyper-charismatic mindset to limit the power of God to miracle-working power only. Many of you reading this devotional are experiencing a surge of courage, encouragement not to quit or the courage to face that crises and overcome right now by the Word. That is dunamis, the power of the Spirit strengthening your heart through the Word of God that is living and power-ful!!

MEDITATE

What are the two ways the power of God manifests in our lives as discussed in the devotional above? 

APPLY THE WORD

The Holy Spirit wants to strengthen you in your inner man with strength:  Strength to live the Christian life. Strength for the ministry. Strength to love and believe the Word. Strength to be joyful and peaceful in times of crisis. Strength to be bold and fearless. Strength to not give up. The is what the Lord is referring to when He says it is not by might nor by power! Christianity, everything about it, whether our daily life or ministry is by the power of the Spirit operating as strength, miracle-working power or sustaining power! Receive all of His power!

PRAY

Bless the Lord for the blessing of His power given to you. 

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