#Online Bible Study

What It Really Means To Be Brave

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
-Joshua 1:9
Being brave features in my heart every time I have to step out into what God wants me to do.
And I have blogged about being brave and conquering fear before when I released my first book and when you re-read that post, you’d realize that bravery isn’t what we make it out to be.
I’m sorry but being brave in God doesn’t mean that you are all strong and never wavering.
It doesn’t mean that your heart feels no fear at all.
It doesn’t mean that you are standing tall and unshakable as you blaze through all God wants you to do.
Rather it means that you are cowering under the weight of fear but CHOSE and DECIDE to trust God anyway.

 
Let me tell you what being brave looked like for me on saturday.
Being brave meant crying so hard on the bike I was on while on my way home… crying so hard, it left me gulping air and struggling to breathe.
And then when I got home, being brave meant opening up Joshua 1 which was what was laid in my heart and literally and desperately hugging the scriptures I found therein.
And Joshua 1 is our emphasis today.

 

NOTE: To re-read this study/meditate on it without coming online, download the PDF version of this study here and go to the download page here for free PDF’s of other studies we have done.

I found it soothing that God felt the need to encourage Joshua when He called Him to do His work.

My heart was glad to find that God found it necessary to encourage His child that He was sending off to do a great work for Him.
He didn’t just encourage Him, He repeated some powerful words three different times.

 

Joshua 1:6-9
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous.
Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do….
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

We all know that God doesn’t joke with His words, so if He said something three different times, it wasn’t because He didn’t have something else to say.
Why did He feel the need to repeat “Be strong and courageous” three times?
If you have to re-iterate something, it probably means that the person you are speaking to needs the triple reassurance or will need it in the time to come.
It probably means that those things you are telling him/her are so critical, you’d want them to remember it over and over again.

 

 

When God says be strong, what does He mean?
The answer is in Ephesians 6:10
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

 

Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
But then you’d ask, what is His might?
One example of His might is in Exodus 14…
I studied that passage of the Bible at the beginning of the year and in my Bible you’ll see “His might” marked everywhere something miraculous happened.
The pillar of cloud, the parting of the red sea, the wind blowing through the middle of the sea, the confusion the Egyptians were thrown into, etc (read it for yourself).
And then after all these things, you’d go down to Exodus 14:31 and see this…
“When the people of Israel saw the MIGHTY POWER that the lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the lord and in his servant Moses.”

 

His mighty power.
So when God told Joshua (us) to be strong, He isn’t saying be strong in yourself, He is saying, be strong in the power of My might.
What might?
He would then say, read through my Word and see my might.
Even in the book of Joshua you’d see His might spread all over it.
And then He says to you, now that might that you see me display throughout the Bible, be strong in it and rely on it.

 

And then He goes ahead to tell us in the book of Joshua…
“Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9b)

 

“I am with you” was what I needed on Saturday night.
What does it mean Lord when you say that you are with us?
And He will say, “I am just saying that everything you have to do in me is settled because I am with you”.

 

On Saturday, my tears were sucking the air out of me, I couldn’t breathe well because my heart was burning.
He had closed doors and taken away some men I thought were supposed to be there at the seminar/book launch.
I felt bare.
But then seeing Joshua chapter 1, I knew, having no man to help might make my heart burn, make my eyes run… but then it ultimately takes me to the place where only the Lord is with me. And this is the place where we all need to be.
So as I read Joshua chapter 1 that night, I was at a place where I either believed that the Lord is with me or I sink.
And in that kind of place, you better believe the truth that the Lord is with you because the lies will bury you alive… in your mind.

 
I am writing this now and smiling because God is so intelligent and all knowing.
He would take you through a point in the journey He has placed you on where He fixes the essential foundation in place.
He can’t release you into the world in His name like that without fixing those foundation in place.
If I don’t learn the lesson that only God is the only one with me and that the presence of men with me isn’t guaranteed now, when I grow in purpose and doors start opening, there would be a problem (doors won’t even open if my foundation isn’t right).
So God is taking me through a place where He is laying the blocks step by step and it’s painful.
Oh its painful.
But if we must learn that God is with us, then perhaps He might have to take away men from the equation… for our own good.

 
So being brave in God doesn’t mean that we go all out blazing through without fear… that’s what it looks like to people looking in from outside.
But what it really means for us is us holding onto God and His Word in tears… sometimes in tears shed at night when you can’t even pray but the only thing you can say like Peter is “Lord help me!”
What was Joshua doing as God spoke to Him?
I don’t know.
But I imagine that different things were running through His mind, hence God’s reminder three different times for Him to be brave and courageous.
It was only after God spoke to Him that Joshua moved and assembled the people together.

 

People mostly see “the assembling the people together”, they don’t see that time you and God have alone where He instills strength with His words into you.
That’s where the “being brave” takes place. In the closet where you decide to believe God’s Word.
Every stuff you see people doing in purpose and you are awed by it is only possible because in their conversations with God, they have decided to believe Him, sometimes in tears, sometimes in pain because they can’t see the future but ALWAYS WITH FAITH.

 

All I am saying is…
If you must step out into what God wants you to do for Him, that time of personal communing with God where He instills strength and power into you cannot be done away with.
Don’t let the words of men sway you.
When people say “Frances you are brave”, I laugh.
Come on, you should see me crying unto God and asking for help. That’s where the true bravery takes place. In the closet. In prayers. On your knees.
So if you want to be brave…
If you want to go all out with what you know God is calling you to do…
Go back to the closet.
Go back to the point where you and God can have your own intimate convo where He re-iterates to you that He is with you and where you believe Him and run with that truth.
Go back to the point where you understand that He didn’t say men will be with you. He didn’t give you the words of men, He gave you His Word on Himself and that Word is what you can rely on to be brave.

 

Like I mentioned in last week’s study on the kingdom of God, it’s a lonely path on the walk of purpose.
It’s one filled with tears and lots of prayers.
It’s one where you can’t afford to joke with your being in vital union and remaining in Jesus.
It’s one where men cannot feature in your place of intimacy with God.
It’s one where God alone is your anchor… but if you make this anchor stable and always secure in your life, every other thing may fall away, but still you will still blaze through, secure in the bravery that this anchor gives you.

 

Joshua 1:9
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Prayer:
Lord I almost can’t speak.
I’m choking, I’m almost drowning.
My thoughts of fear are threatening to drown me.
I need you. Please speak your words into my heart.
Help me to hold on to the truth that you are with me, and help me never to let any other lie override this truth.
You make me brave Lord, not men… may it always remain so in Jesus name, amen.

 
Are you currently having an experience on stepping out in God like me?
Apart from reading this step from my book on “Launching out into the deep”, what else has been helping you to do so?
Or are you currently struggling to believe that God is with you?
Send me a mail at okorofrances@gmail.com let’s talk and encourage each other or even better leave a comment below, let’s fellowship, pray together and draw strength from the family of believers.

 
Till Next Week’s Online Bible Study,
Love,
Frances.

 

P.S: To re-read this study/meditate on it without coming online, download the PDF version of this study here and go to the download page here for free PDF’s of other bible studies we have done.

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Onyinye
    October 21, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I’m inspired by this. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      October 24, 2015 at 10:49 am

      Glad it set you on the right path Onyinye..run with the words 🙂

  • Reply
    tope
    October 22, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Frances, this particuĺar bible study is not on the download page… this study met me where I was… gosh… i have had such a difficult week… panic… anxiety… fear.. you name it. God just keeps sending reassurances my way.. that he is with me… he loves me! He is there… and really. That’s enough!

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      October 24, 2015 at 10:52 am

      So sorry Tope, it will be uploaded on the page soonest… got swamped and post went up before i uploaded the pdf…

      Still I am thankful that this study spoke to your heart.
      I looove how God gets His word to us and stills our raging and worried hearts when we need the word which we always do.
      Go in His might… *hugs and hugs*

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