Here’s one of my favorite Bible passages (from The Message paraphrase): "God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels." (Eph 6:10-12)
I know, I know. We’re in Joshua, not Ephesians. But this chapter made me think of Ephesians because it had a certain mantra. Did you notice it as you read through? In four different places, there is a challenge to "be strong and courageous!" Now, since the Israelites were getting ready to go into the Promised Land, I’m sure they were going to need courage to fight against all the giants in the land. However, I think the Lord was talking about a different kind of strength.
And that’s what made me think of Ephesians 6. There, Paul said that God wants us to be strong in the same way He is strong. And then he goes on to list the different parts of the armor that makes God so strong: truth, righteousness, readiness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word. That’s right. The very things that God says will make us strong are the very reasons why He is strong. He’s not just strong because He’s physically powerful. He has total strength of character.
God is strong, and He wants you strong. So, take the advice of Joshua 1 and Ephesians 6—take all the weapons God has laid out for you. Nothing will be able to stand against you, for God Himself is with you. Be strong and very courageous!