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Strength and Courage--(August 15)

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. Joshua 1:7

The dictionary defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” Participation in competition is the act of facing opposition with the potential of danger or difficulty. That does require courage. Participation in life itself inevitably requires confronting situations of conflict, danger, or difficulty. That does require courage. If we are not careful, we can define courage through the lens of the world and assume that it is something that we must stir up within ourselves physically. Joshua 1 shows us the essence of strength or courage as defined by God--the way that leads to success.

You know the story. Joshua is told to command the people to circle the city for six days and then to circle it seven times on the seventh day and then make noise. (Can you hear peas singing?-Veggie Tales reference) This is not exactly the example of courage that anyone expected. God defines strength and courage as being careful to do what He commands and to do it His way.

Most likely, some of the men and warriors of Israel looked at this command and wanted to do it their own ways--through their physical strength and actions. Remember, however, that their parents had already tried that and it did not turn out too well. Let’s not make the same mistake.

As men, you are called to be courageous, but that does not require a major display of physical strength or power, unless it is called for by God. Acting courageously, in every situation, requires obedience and dependence on God. How is God calling on you to be courageous, and depend on Him, in your life and on the field? Take time to pray and ask God to show how He wants you to be courageous as a man and as a football player. Character matters!!

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