Courage

Ever had someone during your Christian life pray for you and tell you something about your future that came directly from the heart of God?

I’ll bet in all cases what was described was something wonderful and probably a little scary but cool nevertheless.

It is also likely you did not want to do what you were told because it seemed too big, too unbelievable or maybe you have your own plans for life or you may think, God must have forgot what I did or how I am or what I’m plotting to do later today.

For as long as I can remember, after I got saved God has given me dreams, words from Elders, pastors, etc describing what His plan was.

The things I was to accomplish were unbelievable, especially considering my past.

Now that it’s at least 20 years later I began to ask myself some serious reflective questions.  Things like, why haven’t these things happened yet?  What is the issue?  I know God has not changed His mind!!!

No matter what the reasons, God has a plan for us and He will not change it.  (Jer 29:11)

So then what was the problem?  Was I so wrapped up in my plan I missed the moves God was trying to get me to make?

God showed me it could be a number of things…

Things like:

FEAR

DISOBEDIENCE

STUBBORNESS

NEGLECT

UNBELIEF

INCONSISTENCY

How many times have we seen the hand of God at work in ways that are undeniable but still complain?  We bring our issues to God, He works them out and and next day or maybe the next week we complain about something else.

I hate my job!

I can’t stand my car!

Why won’t God give me a mate?

My house is too small!

Why can’t I get a house?

Why am I sick?

Why am I broke?

Why isn’t God doing anything?

Why is this taking so long?

Our timetable and God’s are rarely the same.  Remember the Israelites were in bondage over 400 years before their release (eek)

Consider Joshua.

Remember Joshua was Moses’ minister who went up on the mountain top with Moses.  The same Joshua who when he and the 12 spies went to scout out the promised land Moses had led them to was one of the 2 who reported that although there are people there…..we can defeat them,

Read Joshua 1:1-9

When I read these passages of scripture many things stuck out to me but mostly this:

God said to Joshua be courageous because I am about to give you the land I swore unto your fathers.

Courageous – steadfastly minded, prevail, inflexible persistence, not easily controlled or overcome, not yielding to argument or persuasion

 

 

But then in the next verse He says be strong and VERY courageous.

In the previous verse He is talking about a promise He made to Abraham and tells Joshua it will take courage to obtain it because there are enemies there that must be defeated.

In the next verse He says …you be VERY courageous to obey according to all the law.

Then he says don’t turn from the left or the right so you can be prosperous wherever you go.

He says meditate in it day and night….think about it, talk about it, quote it etc…..then it shall be good with you.

NOTE:  I am not saying bad things don’t happen even if you are doing all this, Jesus said in this life we will have tribulation….it’s unavoidable (John 16:33)…..another note:  one definition of the word tribulation in that scripture is PRESSURE…anybody have any of that?

Now why would it only take courage to defeat in battle the peoples in the promised land.

And  a whole other level of courage to be obedient to the word of God?

He’s saying the written word takes no ordinary courage to obey.

Many times in church we talk about we need to be courageous because we need to defeat our enemy the devil.  We are excited to go out and put down the attack of the enemy.  Snatch our stuff out of the enemy camp!!

God is saying here that it is true it takes courage to defeat any enemy that has something that belongs to you.

Like for us it takes courage to get back what the enemy has stolen from either us or those we love.  Or to obtain those things God has promised us individually

But it takes more courage to be obedient to His word.

  • It takes extraordinary courage to believe God when everything you see says He forgot you.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to love those who hate you.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to love church folk.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to see only the good in someone when they mess up again and again.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to forgive and mean it.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to believe only the best about someone.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to give the benefit of the doubt.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to see a situation from the other person’s perspective.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to show mercy.
  • It takes extraordinary courage to be different than the world.

 

So what can we do to make sure we fulfill the will of God for our lives?

Be like Joshua

Be Strong

Be Courageous

Be VERY courageous

Believe

Obey

Fight

And do not neglect or forget those promises God made to you specifically about your future….

Write them down

Remind yourself of what they are

Never give up on them no matter how long it takes

Even if you are doing the work of the Lord do not forget what He told you.  Do not get lost in the busyness of ministry.

Consider Timothy….the Apostle Paul’s son in the ministry.

Timothy was already in the ministry dealing with the issues of ministry when Paul wrote him 1 Timothy.

By 2 Timothy Paul had to remind Timothy of something….

Read 2 Timothy 1:6-7

Stir- anazopureo– re-kindle

We can start off good but then fade…….we have to make sure we keep our calling in the forefront.

It will take courage for us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.  Not only courage in the fight with the devil, but in our fight with ourselves to be obedient to God’s word !!!