In Joshua 6 God calls Joshua to go into battle and the strategy is to simply walk around a fortified city for 7 times, blow some trumpets, and shout! I can’t imagine what Joshua must have felt when God unveiled the strategy. Can you imagine? God comes to you with a plan for a battle against the enemy and you are thinking, “God is on my side! This will be easy.” We can call fire down from the heavens, lightening bolts, floods, and then God tells you the strategy is to walk around the city, blow some trumpets and shout.
Then Joshua gets the pleasure of standing before the army of soldiers and sharing the strategy with them. This had to seem impossible!
Maybe you are thinking Joshua must have had a really intimidating army, lots of people, strong, fierce fighters like from 300 or Braveheart? No, this isn’t an easy battle. It had to be really overwhelming for Joshua to step out in courage, and yet somehow God brings Joshua to a point where, despite the obstacles, he is able to step out in courage.
Some of us hear God call us to step out in courage. God is calling some of us to trust Him and meet Him for the first time. God is calling some of us to connect with other people and build lasting friendships. God is calling some of us to start spending daily time in Scripture and prayer. God is calling all of us into some really difficult places to step out in courage and all we see are the obstacles. All we see are the negatives, the problems, the hurdles, the busy schedules and in Joshua 6 we see how Joshua is able to overcome the obstacles and step out in courage.
The first one comes out of the context of chapter 6 and it is Embrace Risk. If we are going to step out in courage we need to embrace risk. We typically try to avoid risk, but following Christ is risky. What risk is God calling you to? I don’t mean rob banks, drive really fast, and share needles, but I mean what is God putting on your heart that would be so risky, so ridiculous that God had to show up or you were going to look really stupid.
Next one is Embrace Rejection. Sounds a little depressing, but if we are going to step out in courage there is going to be rejection. Joshua faced rejection in his life and when we are walking in courage we are going to experience rejection also. 1 Peter reminds us that our rejection isn’t alone. We have a God who was rejected and suffered so that we might follow in His steps.
Third one is Embrace Authentic Community. We need one another. We look at Joshua and we wonder how he got to this place of leading people to take such risks, facing rejection, stepping out in courage. He had some community around him. He had Moses and Aaron, and Caleb and they were people he could learn from, lean on, and be encouraged. We need people who will speak truth, love, and encouragement into our life. People who will look us in the eye and ask us tough questions.
This is especially true of men because we tend to drift toward independence, however, Scripture teaches us the man who separates seeks His own desire. We need people in our life to give us the courage to step out and over come those obstacles.
The last one is Embrace Jesus. In Joshua 5 we see Joshua have a supernatural conversation. It is a theophany and some people Joshua is talking with the pre-incarnate Christ. Joshua knew after this conversation he wasn’t going into this battle alone, he wasn’t the one commanding this army, he was following God and Joshua 5 reminds us to embrace Jesus.
This wasn’t Joshua’s burden to carry and when God is calling us to step out in courage we aren’t looking for inspiration from Joshua, but we are looking to the one who Joshua looked to and it was Jesus Christ. He is our hero. Joshua was a great leader, but we have a greater leader in Jesus Christ.