“For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’
“Then the officers will also say, ‘Is anyone here afraid or worried? If you are, you may go home before you frighten anyone else.’”
Deuteronomy 20:4, 8 (NLT)
It’s so important to have everyone on your team on one accord when you’re going out to face the difficult. I thank God that over the years God has blessed me with a strong team to accomplish great things in ministry. I thank God for a strong family for helping me accomplish my goals in life. I thank God for strong friends who stood by me during difficult times.
And in each and everyone of those groups that were important to me I had to survey them to make sure I didn’t let any fearful voices influence the rest.
God told Joshua that it was time to get the armies of Israel together for battle. He had given them the promised land but now they had to fight to take it. God promised that he would go out and fight with them. But he also told them there was a chance they might die in battle.
This was a very glaring truth this morning. God says, “I will go out to battle with you but there’s a chance you might die!” Even Jesus tells us the risk of following him. “He or she who tries to save their lives will lose them but they who give their lives for my sake will find life.” There’s always a risk when you go out to fight for what’s right.
Joshua tells them that if they are worried and scared to go home. This is really odd for a general to tell a group of soldiers. They need everyone they can get to go out and fight but he makes this declaration. My concern is that if I make this declaration I’m going to lose half my army! Then it dawned on me that if that happened I never really had an army.
You want to know who’s really committed before you hit that battlefield. I’d rather have 300 ride or die soldiers than 30,000 people who are mixture of fear and worry.
- You have to give worried and fearful people permission to leave. It’s nothing personal. We will still be family. We will still be friends, but I can’t risk you contaminating everybody else.
- Don’t vilify people who are worried or scared. You have to assess where people’s hearts and heads are. If their hearts are not in it then you should ask them for confirmation and just say goodbye. But don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch.
- Protect the army from the one that is fearful. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You don’t know how strong a chain is until you pull on it. Sometimes you need to pull people to the side when their best self is contradicted by a behavior that doesn’t match who they say they are. That contradicting behavior could be detrimental to the outcome of your war.
When you have a good army and a good chance of winning you have to make sure that everybody who is worried or scared has permission to leave so they will not contaminate the rest of the army.
Search my heart and if you find any anxiousness or fear in me, confront it and help me to deal with it. I want to go forward out of faith and not fear. I believe that you will fight for me and I also know that I could die. I’d rather die for what’s right as a free man than die in fear as a slave. Give me the courage fight courageously next to people who also have faith that nothing is impossible for you.
In Jesus’ Name,