Wednesday, September 21, 2011

living with courage

I have never wanted to be a lion tamer or a mountain climber, but I have wanted to drive really fast cars or go bobsledding.  You might think those things are stupid to do or that they take courage.  Both parts could be true.  Yet there are some things that take real courage.  

Depending on your situation, courage can mean taking all different kinds of risk.  I recently heard and repeated that the biggest risk we can take is taking no risk at all.  Courage means that you do something that takes guts, something that isn't comfortable, and a dictionary said that courage is doing something that scares you.

In today's devotion I am not asking you to jump in a pond with alligators or bungee jump off some huge bridge.  I want to challenge you and me to live by faith.  God is calling us to do things we've never done before so that we can get to places we've never been to before.  That takes faith and courage.

This past Sunday we began a new series called CHASE THE LION, and it is based on the book In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson.  (You can get this book at The Community for $10.)  It is a series about being who God created you to be by overcoming your fear and living by faith.  It is about finding your purpose that might just be hiding behind your biggest pain or struggle.  It is about reaching for your dreams that God has placed in your heart.  The series will continue through the next several weeks.

God has big plans for you.  I have said that before.  Yet as I talk about courage and living by faith, there are a few pieces of what God says that I want to make sure we agree on.  Lets pack this around Joshua from the Old Testament who was the leader of God's people after Moses died.  God called Joshua to do some things that made little sense in human terms.  But they made huge sense to God.  Listen in to the things that God told Joshua about living with courage.

Real courage comes from God!

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.

This courage is rooted in the Bible, God's word to us!

And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you'll get where you're going; then you'll succeed.

Fear and depression rob us of courage!

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

There are three key elements to living with courage: God, the Bible and dealing with fear.  Get those three things right, and you will live with courage and experience life in new and fresh and awesome ways.  I am praying for myself that I will live with and lead with great courage.  I am praying that our church leaders begin to experience freedom in brand new ways as they live and lead with courage.  I am praying for many of the people who attend The Community or who read this devotion will begin to live with courage that can only come from God.  

Will you give living with courage a try?  Seek God.  Read God's word.  Stop letting fear hold you back.  God has awesome things ahead of you as you and I do things we've never done before so we will get to places we've never reached before.  It is time we live with courage.

1 comment:

j4man said...

Good thoughts Michael.

Love the book - I was really challeged by it several years ago - might be good to back and reread.

I have been taking some steps in recent times that are pushing the envelope some and it has taken courage but as always - when God leads and we follow there is nothing to fear.

Thanks for the encouragement written today!

happy birthday, Julie

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