Today I was reading in the book of Joshua and came across this gem.
Joshua 14:10-12 (ESV)  And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old.  I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.  So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said."
This statement was made by Caleb after the initial conquest of the promised land. The thing that I found so amazing was his confidence in God. It wasn't just trust it was a bold risk taking assurance that God was powerful and because God had made him a promise he had nothing to fear. We certainly could use more of this kind of trust and faith in the Church.
Caleb had something to fear, he wanted the hill country where the Anakim (think defensive linemen fighting punters) lived. This is an insane request unless you believe that God is faithful to His promises. God has made many promises to us that should make us bold.
Matthew 16:18 (ESV) And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The Church has this promise, why are we terrified. We will not be ultimately defeated. Cowering in fear is simply evidence of our lacking faith.
Isaiah 55:11 (ESV) so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
God's ultimate Word is the Gospel, the good news of Christ's death in our place, when we speak this word we should have the confidence that God will keep His promise. Now how He keeps that promise may not be according to our liking or timing, but He is God and we are not.
Let us claim these promises and with Caleb stand up and march out into a hostile world. We may have to face some spiritual Anakim but if we are boldly faithful like Caleb I trust that we will see some fortified cities of spiritual darkness crumble.