BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS – Ray E Horton
“Be strong and courageous.” God spoke that to Joshua three times at the beginning of Joshua 1 (Vs. 6,7 and 9) as He instructed Joshua concerning his mission to take the people over the Jordan River and conquer the promised land. He had reassured Joshua in Vs. 5: “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”
Continuing to Chapter 5, before the battle of Jericho, a “Man” who identified Himself as the “Commander of the army of the Lord” told Joshua in vs. 15, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.”
Where the Lord is present is holy. And He is present in us as Born-Again believers. So, wherever we go, in this age of Grace, it is holy
Why was this holy ground? Let’s back up a verse and we’ll see that Joshua fell to his face and worshiped Him. I’ve heard some say that this was an angel, but other places in the Bible angels give strict instruction to not worship them, but God alone. But here, Joshua was not so instructed. So, I am convinced that this was in fact a pre-incarnate visitation of Jesus Himself. So, Joshua was in the presence of Jesus, which made it holy ground.
Where the Lord is present is holy. And He is present in us as Born-Again believers. So, wherever we go, in this age of Grace, it is holy. Knowing the Lord is present brings an awareness of His holiness in our lives, and we can put off our flesh covering (Joshua’s sandals), our masks we hide behind, and become vulnerable and yielding before Him.
Joshua and Old Testament patriarchs had the occasional experience of the Lord. His presence was external, like the visitation Joshua experienced here, or the pillar of fire that led them in the wilderness. We, however, experience His habitation, His abiding presence within us.
We have His Presence Within
Realizing this, we too can be “strong and of good courage,” knowing we have His presence within to complete our mission, to be ambassadors for Christ, ministers of reconciliation, making disciples, fulfilling our part of the Great Commission by being available for His life and light to flow through us.
The Israelites had to travel to the temple from time to time to hopefully get some experience of the Lord. We, however, as temples of the Holy Spirit, bring that temple and His presence to others wherever we go.