Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Courageous Man Of Faith

And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it... (1 Chronicles 28:20a)
I just love that, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it." Isn't that great? "Just do it!" is a popular advertising slogan, and in another place, a well-known preacher is often quoted as saying, "Do it afraid." Both come down to courage.

Not much is said in "preaching" circles about courage, yet it is all throughout the scriptures. Moses, and later Joshua, encouraged the people of Israel to be courageous. King David spoke of it in the Psalms. Always included with their statements are words against fear and for God's strength. *

"Fear not, nor be afraid"
"Neither be dismayed."
"Dread not"

I like what I read from Gloria Copeland:

"Living a life of faith takes courage. Most people don't realize it, but it does! It takes courage to stand up in the face of sickness and declare you're healed by the stripes of Jesus. It takes courage to believe for prosperity and put your last dime in the offering plate when poverty is staring you in the face. There are going to be some days when you'd rather pull the covers over your head and hide than take another faith stand against the devil. But you can't. Because the battle of faith isn't fought once and then forgotten. If you want to keep living in victory, you have to fight it again and again."
Think about it! Courage IS faith. Standing in faith, and "having done all" standing some more, takes great courage. (Ephesians 6:13) When you're facing certain situations, whether its problems at home (strife at home can be the worst) or financial troubles or sickness, to continue to walk by faith, making confident confession of your belief in God's provision for you, is daunting.

It's funny really because I've never thought of myself as courageous. I watched a video the other day about a group of professional sky divers. The point of the video was to illustrate the risks people take. I remember thinking, "There is no way I will ever do that!" In fact, my list of things I will not do is far longer than that of the things I will do. Physically speaking, I like to "play it safe". But speaking spiritually, we are told to be courageous.

Courage is faith, and courage is also boldness. In the book of Acts, Peter and John prayed for boldness. I have meditated on their words a lot over the years.

And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, (Acts 4:29)
This blog in itself is the result of boldness, or courage, the Lord has given me. It's not my "thumbing my nose at the establishment," but more an audacity to stand up against the devil. In the face of any "threatenings" he throws at me, I walk by faith. Fear has no place. Remember? "Having done all, to stand. Stand therefore..."

Ephesians 4:27 states, "Neither give place to the devil". This is my motto. Fear is the biggest enemy of faith that I fight against every day. Fear sits in direct opposition to courage.

I heard a statement about fear recently that really stayed with me. In talking about war, journalist and movie director Sebastian Junger stated:

"Fear is the emotion that comes with danger, or thinking you're in danger. What's interesting about fear is that it's actually not connected with the element of danger. The most obvious example are phobias. I'm really scared of spiders, terrified of spiders. I have been since I was a little kid. They're not dangerous at all, but I'm deeply scared of them."
Though he was speaking from a physical standpoint, in his statement I finally saw the truth. Fear is inherently powerless over us! It is especially powerless in the face of God's strength and anointing. Fear only has any power over us as we give in to it.

We've been told to BE COURAGEOUS. I am determined now more than ever to follow God's instructions. Just as Gloria Copeland said, there ARE days when I don't want to function and times when I'd rather stay at home. However, in order to "do" all that God has called me to do, I must first be courageous.

The BDB definition of the word "courage" specifically says "to be strong, brave, secure (for oneself), assure, to be determined, to strengthen oneself." ** It is that last definition that I like the most. We must strengthen ourselves - through the Word of God, through confession of God's promises, through mediation on His faithfulness - and therefore, we stand in faith.

It is as Joshua said,

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:7)
Be strong, be courageous, that you may do, that you may prosper. This is God's desire for me. I will take courage; I will walk in faith. I WILL do it!

* Deu_31:6-7 (2), Deu_31:23, Jos_1:6, Jos_1:9, Jos_1:18, Jos_10:25
, 1 Chronicles 22:3, Psalms 27:14, Psalm 31:24 **

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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