Last week, we finished with the Israelites walking around the walls of Jericho (just as the LORD instructed) until they came tumbling down. God had given them three simple instructions to follow. 1) Save Rahab’s family, 2) Bring the precious metals into the treasury of the LORD, and 3) Destroy the rest. At first, it looked like they had lived out these instructions.
But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel. (Joshua 7:1 ESV)
It’s not fun to be in a place where the anger of the LORD burns against us. Unfortunately, we bring that situation upon ourselves. We know where God stands. We know the terms of our covenant commitment with Him. We know God’s design for our lives. Yet we choose a different way. When we do, we set ourselves up as God’s enemies. The LORD’s anger burns against us.
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, "Go up and spy out the land." And the men went up and spied out Ai. And they returned to Joshua and said to him, "Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few." So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water. (Joshua 7:2-5 ESV)
Unfortunately, our rebellion against God doesn’t just affect us. It affects the people around us. It affects the people connected to us. It affects the Body of Christ: God’s Church. When we do what is right, we build up Christ’s Body. When we rebel against God (sin), we hurt Christ’s Body. All sin is corporate. It negatively affects other people. All righteousness is corporate, too. It builds up other people out of love.
Lived-out courage causes us to act. Since the courage is from God, it causes us to act as God calls us to act. Sometimes the call is to speak. Sometimes it is a call to be silent. Sometimes God calls us to attack. Other times, we walk around the city walls for seven days. Whether the call is to move or stay, speak or be silent, attack or restraint, God’s call will always have us participate in God’s plan. Lived-out courage strengthens us to do just that.
So, how about you? Do you have the courage from God to do your part of God’s plan? Do you live out that courage in your life?