It seems surprising that the Lord would command Joshua, “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you….” (Joshua 1:7)
We expect the conquest to take land of Canaan, doing battle with large, well-entrenched, forces would require strength and courage. But we tend not to link the need for strength and courage with keeping the law.
As those living under the New Covenant, we are not required to keep the law. But we are required to keep the law of love, which also necessitates the employment of strength and courage.
My book, Counterattack, demonstrates that agape love encompasses two components: morality and grace. Morality, giving people what we owe them, is agape’s foundational components since it is more loving to treat people ethically rather than unethically. Grace comprises agape’s highest expression, since it entails giving people what we do not owe them.
The display of both morality and grace requires strength and courage. It requires strength and courage to tell the truth when doing so is unpopular and may invite reprisals. It demands strength and courage from men to not click on links to pornographic websites or for people to stop viewing movies or television programs that violate biblical standards. It requires substantial strength and courage to turn the other cheek, especially when the first slap, whether physical or emotional, was painful. It requires strength and courage to stay on a diet, even when we know that doing so advances God’s agenda for us and will benefit our spouse and children.
Strength and courage to keep the law of love must be developed. I trust that the Lord is giving us a successful day at the gym.