Key Word:- VICTORY
Title:- Watchwords for Warriors
Joshua 1:18 “Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”
It was Russel Crowe’s ‘General Maximus’ in Ridley Scott’s film ‘Gladiator’ that coined the phrase “Strength and Honour.” Watchwords for warriors that’s for sure, appealing to both men and women, summoning up senses and desires for both, no matter what the cost. “Strength and Honour.” I like that.
However, the victories and glory of ‘Maximus’, pail into insignificance when placed alongside those of General Joshua. In our verse today, from the lips of the leaders of the two and one half tribes settled already on the East side of Jordan towards the rising sun, we see reference to what I might suggest, are the Watchwords of the Warriors of God. “Strength and Courage”
Paul as a prefix to dressing the Christian in the armour of heaven, begins with encouraging us to “be strong”. Being a Christian is no easy thing. This side of heaven, it is not a call to ‘wimpage,’ it is not a call to ease, it's not a call to rest; it is a call to vicious and blood spilling battle. It is a call to the most violent of conflicts, it is a call to the clash of arms, it is a call to conquest. Such a call will not go without resistance but with the utmost ferocity, it will in turn be attacked. No wonder then that Paul prefixes his battle dressing with “BE STRONG!” Resist, exert, endure, effect, energise yourself, be unmovable, “BE STRONG!”. Lean into the Hurricane if you will, grit your teeth and snarl but whatever you do, don’t turn, don’t run, “BE STRONG!” We must take heed of this exhortation, for I tell you friends, we are truly in a battle royal where the stakes are higher than we can ever conceive. To remain standing against such onslaughts you will need to be strong and you will also need great courage.
The English word ‘courage’ has it’s roots embedded in the old French word ‘Coeur’, that is ‘heart’. Courage is a matter of the heart. If you are to stand and be strong in the face of such fierceness you must have courage, inner firmness, ingrained fortitude, desperate determination, terrible tenacity, a screaming resistance that roars back at the enemy and dares to bear it’s own teeth in terrible display.
I do think that there will come a day when we shall roll up our sleeves and show our scars and say “I got this when….,” or “this happened as…..,” or maybe “this is to remind me of….” For I wonder, if those who aspire to be God’s true generals, like His own Supreme Commander, the Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ the Lord, King of Kings, Prince of Peace and God over all, shall along with Him, also walk the streets of heaven bearing ‘red badges of courage’, even all the marks of their own involvement in conquests, battles and victories?
O Christian, is the Holy Spirit saying to you today, “Prepare yourself! For in three days you shall go over this Jordan. Only be thou strong and very courageous.”
Listen:- You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. ….. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. ……… Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. … This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him…2 Timothy 2:1-12
Pray:- Lord I pray for the fixed heart of Queen Esther, to be kept from for the lacking determination of King Joash, to be given the swinging arm of Elijah, the blind strength of Samson, the wiliness of Jael, the wisdom of Joshua, the eyesight of Moses, the mouth of Peter, the loving and embracing arms of John, the courage of the thirty and the dedication of the three. O God I pray that I would at last, be true, be true, be true, be true to Thee. Amen.