“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law . . . turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:7)
God expects His appointed leaders to cultivate both inner and outer strength.
God’s leaders must have both physical strength and spiritual courage.These comparative terms are cited together in 18 different passages of the Old Testament—always to emphasize the need for both. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14). “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24). Although bodily exercise is of little profit (1 Timothy 4:8), our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and should be kept strong for God’s work (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Spiritual courage tends to be weakened when the physical body is weakened.
God’s leaders need both strength and courage to obey God’s call and be successful in the ministry. The apostle Paul was shaken by such physical torment that “we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: . . . but God . . . delivered us from so great a death” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10). Human weariness can rob us of the “well doing” that would otherwise reap success (Galatians 6:9). God is certainly the source of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17)—including our physical strength. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). HMM III
From the Institute for Creation Research