“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
This is one of my favorite pictures from my time in the Philippines. We held 3 days of meetings on the island of Camiguin off the northern coast of Mindanao. We flooded the area inviting people to come and hear the word of God, and to bring the sick because God is still the Healer today! We would preach salvation, pray with the people to receive Jesus, and then teach about healing and invite them to receive healing for their bodies. This woman came forward for prayer with her dear husband, had hands laid on her, and then came to testify of her healing.
Our pastors encouraged her, as an act of faith, to rise up out of her wheelchair, and to do something that she couldn’t do before (like standing on her legs). Her precious husband looked so terribly concerned for her. I’d even say there was some fear there that she would fall, but she chose to be strong and rise up out of that chair. As she took that step of faith and put weight on her legs, God answered that faith and strengthened her legs enough to bear her weight. Someone on our team happened to capture the heart of that moment in this picture! Glory to God!
Over 30 times we are COMMANDED to be strong in the King James Version of the Bible! We are told to be strong, be courageous, to not be afraid, to “act like men” and fight! We are told to be strong and do the work of the Lord because He will not fail us or forsake us! We are told to be strong for the battle because God has the power to help us and save us! We are told to be strong in the Lord, and to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus! Are we getting the message??? BE STRONG!
It took strength for this woman to receive what God was ready to give her. If she had chosen to give way to fear, she may have remained bound by her infirmity forever!
God is calling each and every one of us to complete an assignment for Him. Most likely, to carry out that assignment, we will be required to be strong, to have faith, to resist the devil, to “act like men” and fight (or in my case, “fight like a girl,” and I mean that in a very GOOD way!) Why am I so passionate about this? Because I have been on both sides of the fence. There have been times when I courageously obeyed God, and times that I have given way to fear.
Recently I was giving way to fear as God has been really stretching my faith, but when I got quiet with Him I did not get a “pep talk.” I got corrected – firmly corrected. God commands us to be strong – if we choose to be cowards we are disobeying that command! He expects us to get in the word, to pray, to exercise our authority in Jesus’ name. The devil does not exit our affairs because we politely ask him to leave. We must THROW HIM OUT with great conviction – trusting that God is at our back authorizing us to do just that!
I’m telling you, when you tell fear to take a hike, and tell God you are choosing to STAND on His word until you see His promises come to pass in your life, it won’t be long until you see your faith become sight!
Since YOU are reading this, let me ask you, what are YOU afraid of? What is the greatest fear you have in your life right now? Think about it. Now, BE STRONG, take authority over that fear right now! Choose to trust God, to resist the devil, to fight the good fight of faith. Don’t lay down and cry. Rise up and rejoice! God is looking for faith in the earth because He is so eager to show Himself strong in the lives of His people.
I pray that this word today meets you right where you need it and changes your situation. Be strong my friends. Be courageous. God is with us. He is for us. Don’t be afraid. Get some backbone and fight! Ha! With God, you will win every time!