“Strong. Army Strong.” That’s the latest tagline for the U.S. Army. You’ve probably seen it in a recent advertisement. At Antioch Community Church we’re also committed to raising up an army. We envision an army of young men and women who are bold, courageous, trained, equipped, humble, and sold out to King Jesus. These soldiers are “Jesus Strong.” We want to raise up leaders that are armed for a spiritual war and will do serious damage in this world for the kingdom of God.
My personal passion involves raising up and developing young men for leadership. If you want to win a war you need good men, and you need a lot of them. One of the great leaders of the Old Testament is a man named Joshua. In Joshua 1:1-9, the Lord gives instructions to Joshua (Moses’ successor) on how to be successful in Israel’s conquest of the land of Canaan. These instructions involve Joshua’s character as a leader and his dependance upon God.
What sort of leader was Joshua to be? God tells him to be a man of action. He was to “arise” and “go.” Joshua was also to be a man of strength. Three times he is commanded to “be strong!” Israel’s leader was to be a man of courage. He was not to be “dismayed” or be “afraid.” Joshua was to be a man of God’s word. This involved speaking the truth, meditating on the truth, and living out the truth. God made this clear in 1:8 where he says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Finally, Joshua was commanded to be a leader who is assured of God’s continued presence. This was the bottom line. The Lord’s mighty presence in the mission was the guarantee for success.
We need more men like Joshua today. Young men who are “Jesus strong” and willing to attempt bold and courageous things for God. Men who will take risks for the mission of spreading the gospel among lost people. Men of character who are devoted to the advancement of God’s kingdom. Men who are willing to go to war for the fame of Jesus’ name.
God, raise up an army of young men like that.