Disciples Must Be Courageous
Joshua 1: 9: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
These familiar words which God spoke to Joshua as he was preparing to enter the Promised Land give us the context for another great characteristic of a true disciple. A disciple must be courageous.
For Joshua, this would mean not diverting from all that God had spoken through Moses. The Bible, so to speak, in oral form became Joshua's blueprint for daily living. Living it out was God's definition of being courageous.
The assurance to trust God, as Joshua obeyed, was nothing less than the ever present reality of the person of God Himself. God promised to be with Joshua even as he had been with Moses.
We are to live in obedience to the revealed Word of God by the power of the Spirit living inside us. God requires us to be courageous.
Bill Hull in his book The Complete Book of Discipleship (NavPress, 2006) gives characteristics of a disciple and one of these is courage. He mentions Martin Luther, a Catholic monk who traveled to Rome for the first time in the year 1515. While there, he was challenged to read the New Testament. Luther had never read the New Testament for himself. He was totally transfixed and transformed. Two years later, Luther attached his now famous 95 articles to the church door in the Wittenberg Castle. By 1521 he was standing on trial for heresy and was excommunicated as a result. Luther's now infamous words ring true even today, "Here I stand; I can do no other" (Bill Hull, The Complete Book of Discipleship pg 96).
We minister today in the legacy of those brave and courageous words. A true disciple of Christ stands on the revealed Word in the power of the living Saviour.
We may not all stand as Luther stood against the giants of the medieval world, but we can be obedient husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, labourers and co-labourers, courageously standing for righteousness, honour, purity and justice.
May we prove to be courageous disciples of Jesus.