After Moses died, his protégé, Joshua, became the new leader. God promised to be with Joshua as He had been with Moses. God promised to give Joshua every place upon which the sole of his foot would tread. God promised to prosper Joshua wherever he went. But there was one requirement: “Only be strong and very courageous,” the Lord said (Josh. 1:7, NKJV).
Imagine you are about to embark on the most challenging undertaking of your life. You have no idea what lies before you, and then the Lord comes to you and says, “Be very courageous.” That would scare me! Why? Because courage is only needed in the presence of danger. Courage is not the absence of fear. In fact, there is no courage without fear. Courage is the willingness to face fear with faith. All the promises, victories, and destiny awaiting Joshua were dependent on his willingness to face his fear. When I was a teenager, I went to England on a missions trip, and stayed in a “host home” with a lovely British couple. They had a poster hanging on their wall that is forever branded in my mind’s eye. The poster showed a group of ten-year-olds, twenty-year-olds, thirty-year-olds, all the way up to hundred-year-olds, and each was asked the same question: “What is your number one regret at this point in your life?” All the answers were both interesting and funny—but the only answer that struck my heart and forever burned itself into my memory, was the answer of those who were a hundred years old. Their number one regret at that point in their life, was that they “should have taken more risks.” I determined then, as a very young man, that when I come to the end of my life, I don’t want to look back and realize that I never really lived at all because I was always too afraid.
Fear always seems legitimate in the moment, but when one looks back over the course of their life at the things they used to worry about—it becomes evident quite quickly that they should have taken more risks for the Lord’s sake. Fear is never a good excuse to not do God’s will. The parable of the talents in Matthew Chapter 25 illustrates this.
A wealthy man was planning to go away on a long journey. Before he left, he decided to divide his money among his three servants so they could invest it and his fortune would increase while he was away. The first two servants invested their money wisely, and the master was pleased when he returned. But the third servant said, “I was afraid, and went out and hid your talent in the ground” (Matthew 25:25). He buried his talent because of fear. The master didn’t respond with, “There, there, it’s alright, you poor little servant. I’m so sorry I put you in an uncomfortable position.” No, the master rebuked him sharply with anger and said, “You wicked and lazy servant!” The master was angry with him because rather than facing his fears and taking a risk for the master’s sake, he chose to take the easy path: bury the talent, and do nothing.
The time is ticking away on the clock, and soon our master will return. What is at stake is God’s eternal kingdom. He has entrusted the advancement of His kingdom into our hands, and one day He will return and we will give an account for what we’ve done with His investment. If we have any reason to fear— it is only this, that our lives would produce Him nothing more than a buried bag of talents. Our lives do not belong to us— they belong to our Master, our Lord and Savior, who risked everything for our sake. May we risk everything for His sake in return, that He would receive the reward of His suffering.
I love the way Jim Elliot put it, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” You cannot fail when giving Jesus your all! Fear is only an illusion! You risk nothing when you risk your life for the Master. Instead, you will only hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23).
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This Bible Study has been taken from Evangelist Daniel Kolenda’s book, “Live Before You Die”. This book outlines a straight forward approach to being able to recognize God’s will in your life. You can find it in our shop here: https://shopus.cfan.org/products/live-before-you-die