"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, March 9, 2012

COURAGEOUS OR COWARDICE? PART 1

1 Samuel 17:37 (NIV 1984) "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."





"Mom, the kids at school made fun of me today." With a sullen face, my youngest son relayed the events that took place. His school had a talent show for those who wanted to participate. Several children played their violin or piano. Some sang a song or recited a poem.

My brave and bold seven-year-old decided to demonstrate his Karate skills. Might I add, he has had no formal training in this sport (just two older brothers). But, this did not deter him from standing before his classmates to show off his kicks, punches, cartwheels and rolls. And, all with his youthful, "Ha-yah!" sound.

One boy made a hurtful comment that dejected my son's enthusiasm for his effort. After comforting him, I recalled the story of David and Goliath (See 1 Samuel 17). I reminded my son how David was the youngest, and smallest. A shepherd boy with no military training, criticized by his older brother, stood before the Philistine with no fear. David displayed courage when the entire qualified Israelite Army cowered in terror.

I encouraged my son not to allow deflating comments to sink too deep in his heart. I emphasized that he stood up and tried something with confidence and courage. I cautioned him, if he cares too much about what others think, it will prevent him from moving out of his comfort zone and experiencing abundant life.

Too often in our journey of faith we cower in fear, unwilling to unlock the gate of bravery. Many times our fleshly tendency is to calculate the pro's and con's and measure the known factors without expressing faith in what is unseen.

Courageous means to be strong, stout, alert, brave, hard, determined, bold, made firm, exhibit strength and to persist in. Striving to live courageously requires surrender of self. Christ's strength enables us to stand resolute and exude courage that is clearly beyond ourselves.

  • Courage to represent truth.
  • Courage to confess sin.
  • Courage to confront sin.
  • Courage to say "no" to the world.
  • Courage to stand alone when others abandon you.
  • Courage to boldly proclaim Christ's death in our lives.
  • Courage to renew our mind.
  • Courage to love the unlovable.
  • Courage to respect our husband, even when we feel He doesn't deserve it.
  • Courage to submit our finances to the Lord.
  • Courage to repent of idol worship: food, materialism, career, kids or even exercise etc.
  • Courage to seek forgiveness from God and others.
  • Courage to be obedient to the call of ministry on our lives.
  • Courage to nurture and train our children in the admonition of the Lord.
  • Courage to say "yes" to God's leading.

What act of courage is God asking of you? Like David, the odds may be against you and conflict may surround you. Your faith must join your determination to stand up for your convictions. Your faith needs to embrace the uncharted waters that require complete dependence on God. The way I see it, biblical courage does not require calculation; biblical courage requires confidence in Christ!

According to David, we come against our adversary and opposition in the name of the Lord Almighty (vs. 45)! And, when we do, the whole world will know there is a God (vs. 46).

  • Courageous or content . . .
  • Courageous or comfortable . . .
  • Courageous or convenient . . .
  • Courageous or complacent . . .
  • Courageous or competent . . .
  • Courageous or calculated . . .
  • Courageous or cowardice . . .

What will you choose? Which words will you allow to define you?




Heart Work:
Recall the last time you did something courageous in your walk with Christ? Reflect on how you experienced God's faithfulness and how your faith increased as a result.

Recall your most recent example of cowardice. Reflect on what inhibited you from moving ahead in faith.

Heart Exam:
Is there something "Big" God is asking of you? What fears hold you back from God's desire for you? Ask God to remove your fears in order to grasp God's direction in your life.

How do the words, "Be strong and courageous," motivate you?

What is your Goliath?

Heart Changing Word:
Joshua 1:9 (NIV 1984) "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

2 Chronicles 19:11b "Act with courage, and may the Lord be with those who do well."

Ezra 7:28b "Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me."

Ezra 10:4 "Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it."

1 Corinthians 16:13 "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."

Philippians 1:20 "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."




Copyright 2012 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.