The success that Joshua experienced at Jericho demonstrated clearly that he had taken the position as the commander of Israel with an astonishing sense of leadership. There was no question that he was fearlessly following Jehovah’s command.
One of the key ingredients of his sweeping success was his courage to carry out even the most peculiar strategies. Courage enabled Joshua to see from God’s perspective and know how to receive what God had promised Moses. God had said to him, “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7).
The only way we can accurately determine the direction God is leading us is to see a situation from a perspective of His strength and courage. Trying to perceive God’s direction through the eyes of our own weaknesses will always leave us frustrated. Even our own strength and willpower cannot put us over. It is God’s courage in conflict that brings us conquest.
Courage is firmness in the face of danger or difficulty. The dictionary shows that our English word “courage” is derived from the French word “cuer” or heart. To have courage means that we put our hearts in the seat of intelligence. To be courageous is to be led by our hearts, not merely our reasoning, putting our thoughts and imaginations under the control of Holy Spirit-inspired ideas.
It takes a great deal of courage to follow God rather than the path of least resistance. It can mean making a decision or taking a stand that is unpopular and may generate criticism. But most important is loyalty to God, even when it costs the adulation of people.
Both Joshua and Caleb took a very lonely stand when they first returned from the land of promise with a report of victory. They were rejected and ignored. Yet they stood courageously upon the promise God had made to them. They would not be distracted or detoured, but rather they remained loyal to what they knew deep in their hearts to be true. Their minds remained steadfast and established on God’s promise; they would not be swayed by anyone.
Years later, this same courage stirred through Joshua as he approached the city of Jericho. It took leadership beyond the boundaries of conventional strategies to entertain the concept of God’s plan that brought the city of Jericho down.
Joshua had to follow his heart, not his mind. Undoubtedly his mind was saying the opposite of what God had instructed him to do. Joshua was required to follow the plan of God even though it was not reasonable. That was the only way to ensure victory. Subsequent battles and victories were not as dramatic as Jericho, but the assurance of victory was always there.
When God tells us to go and conquer, we must know the result will be victory. We must adopt the same courage that Joshua experienced that will enable us to win over the weaknesses and the challenges that face us daily.