“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous…”” (Deuteronomy 31.6) “And the LORD commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong and courageous…” (Deuteronomy 31.23) “Be strong and courageous…” (Joshua 1.6) “Only be strong and very courageous…” (Joshua 1.7) “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1.9) There are more times that Joshua has to be told this, but seriously, by now you have to be thinking- ‘how much of a sissy was this guy?’ Right?
When I was younger, I would have coaches who expressed a similar sentiment through the phrase “man-up”. These two words said so much! First, men act in a certain way. Second, your current actions are not manly. Third, you can act like a man. Fourth, START DOING WHAT MEN DO! (They almost always shouted this phrase because boys are stubborn) Joshua is compelled, repeatedly, that he will need to man-up to face the challenges that lie ahead of him. If he is going to conquer, he has to be strong and courageous- because if he is anything less then he is not the man Israel needs him to be.
This is still a concern for men of God today. For example, do you have any idea how much strength and courage it takes to lead singing?! Some men are not song leaders, I intend no pressure on those who would abstain. However, Paul provides plenty of pressure to men in 1 Corinthians 16.13-14, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” Now, you can relate to Joshua, can’t you? He doesn’t seem like such a sissy anymore, huh? “be done in love…”, Paul is referring us back to chapter 13- it’s the one highlighted in pink with a purple pen lacey loop outline. Verse 2 tells the tough guy, “…if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” Verse 7 needs even more hardiness to bear, believe, hope and endure.
Hey, my guy. It’s time to be the conqueror God intended for you to be. Be strong and courageous. After all, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” Man-up.