When God tells you to do something, things typically get harder before they get easier. A word from God does not guarantee clear skies and smooth sailing. In fact, Scripture demonstrates the opposite is usually true.
I have come to discover that in order to fully obey God and fulfill His assignments, two qualities must always be at work in our lives: strength and courage.
“…Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Joshua 1:9
God speaks these words to Joshua’s heart simultaneous to revealing Joshua’s new task. The reason is obvious. What God asked Joshua to do was very intimidating. Joshua would have to lead Israel into war and formidable opposition stood between them and the Promised Land.
Virtually everything God leads us to do is intimidating on the surface. Either we don’t know how or we don’t have the resources or we don’t feel we possess the skills. The thing is God doesn’t care about your apparent inadequacy. He wants to you be strong. He wants you to be courageous.
How can we be strong? In the Lord. Paul writes, “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” to the Christians in Ephesus (Ephesians 6:1). We need to incessantly draw strength from the Lord. This needs to be something we practice. It is fruitless to attempt our destiny in our own strength, but when we lean into the Spirit of God, strength emerges.
How can we be courageous? Recognize you have high-level backup. The reason David could request King Saul give him a shot at Goliath was because he knew God would back him up. He learned as a shepherd that God was faithful and would never leave him hanging. 1 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He is faithful because he cannot deny himself.” Faithfulness is a characteristic of God’s nature that literally never changes. When you fully understand that God is faithful, you are confident. Courage emerges.
Man of God, be strong. Woman of God, be courageous. Continue to boldly press forward until you see with your eyes what God has first revealed to your heart.