Deep within us is the yearning to be brave. Courage empowers us to do the right thing even in the face of fear. Why does it matter so much to our souls to do the right thing rather than the safe thing? It points to the nature and delight of our Creator. When we think about being brave we can picture the courage of Jesus. He spoke the truth without fear. He lived on earth with a selfless love. He had the unflinching strength to allow himself to be nailed to a cross on our behalf. In our deepest being we are made to be like Him.
It is the tragedy of our fallen natures to choose to sin countless times leaving us very far from what our Creator intended. The reality of this can fill us to despair to be as God designed.
Who we are designed to be is evidenced more by the yearning within us to be brave rather than our past history. The Lord sets before us a pathway of courage and heart boldness. How can we be prepared to receive this grace?
Reflect on the life you are living now, the anxiety you are carrying, and the sense of the life God is calling you to live. What is holding you back from living out your calling?
The first step in preparing ourselves to get free and live for the opportunities God has for us is to get quiet long enough to explore the deep roots of our fears. We must acknowledge our fears and receive our rescue from God. Many of us know that Jesus has rescued us from the judgment of sin and death. But are we, in essence, very busy trying to rescue ourselves? Deeply rooted in our nervous busyness is the fear that God really won’t accept us unless we clean ourselves up first. We fear that people will reject us if we do not live up to their expectations. Underlying the fear can be the belief that our worth is measured by the quality and quantity of our possessions.
We must come to that place of grace where our worth is fully believed and affirmed, without condition, by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has fully redeemed us. If we do not believe God cares for us we will not be equipped to minister in the needy world around us.
The second question is whether we are being brave or just looking to be safe? Are we too busy thinking about defending who we are and what we have? In that process are we forgetting that Christ has given us everything we have to enable us to live fully for Him? We were never meant to safeguard our stuff; those gifts are given to us to be put at discerning risk and spent, we are in a battle of life and death (Ephesians 6:10-13). Remember in one of Jesus’ parables, when the servant reported that he had safeguarded rather than investing what the master gave entrusted to him? The master said, “You wicked, lazy servant” (Matthew 25:26).
God reminds us that He is on the offensive move not the powers of evil. He says that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Are we fearful that the enemy is the aggressor and we need to always be on the defensive?
If that is not enough Jesus says that the forces of darkness cannot resist the forces of light. When light is shining in the darkness the light wins every time. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
Who do you know that is overcome by darkness and having a difficult time believing God is always good? We need to go take our light to them. “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NRSV).
It is time to cling to the promises of Scripture, step out, take a risk, and live as if they were true. They are true and God will prove it to us. Courage comes as we step out in faith and do the brave thing.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:28-31).
God doesn’t call us to try to be brave. He calls us to train to be brave. We do not arrive at courage in an instant, we arrive there by God’s grace over time. Do you want to train to be brave or safe? Jesus wants us to make the joyful choice to be brave knowing and trusting that He is with us every step of the journey. He takes care of us we are always safe with Him. Is it time for you to step out for the adventure of your calling?