Called to be Courageous

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.–Unknown 

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

This week I was really impacted by this scripture and this quote. We are all called to be courageous! I can’t speak for you, but a lot of times I feel anything but courageous. As much as I would like to be a modern day William Wallace (Braveheart) filled with courage, carrying a 7 foot long claymore sword, inspiring men, instilling fear in my enemies, and fighting against the powers of evil; and as hard as I may try to act tough, deep-down, I admit that often I’m afraid. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid to be wrong. I’m afraid I don’t have what it takes. If we allow it to, fear will control us. It will freeze us, debilitate us, and render us ineffective. We must resolve to be unwilling to settle for doing the easy thing… which is nothing. Be willing to take the right action, even if that action will undoubtedly be extremely difficult!

Just Like Me

We have this idea in our mind at times that the men and women that we read about in scripture, who God used to do great things, were in some way different from us. Then I read in James 5:17, Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. (NIV)  Wow! Are you serious! A normal guy who prayed, and his prayers moved heaven and earth, and it didn’t rain for 3.5 years as a direct result of his prayer?! The same guy (Elijah) prayed, during a showdown with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah (1 Kings 18), and fire fell down from heaven and consumed the offering, the altar and all the water around it! I like to think that I have an active prayer life, and I want to pray powerful prayers that move heaven and make a difference! I have never prayed down fire from heaven! Where can I get some faith like Elijah? Can I order that off Amazon Prime and get it in 2 days? It seems unattainable. Yet the text clearly states that Elijah was a human being…just like us!

Sometimes I have it in my mind that heroes of the faith, such as Elijah and the 3 Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), had an extra measure of courage, strength, and faith somehow pre-programmed into their DNA from birth. As we know, these young men looked straight into the face of death by means of a fiery furnace. They said these iconic words to the king, who was filled with rage and fury towards them for their show of honor to God, and who had the power to order their immediate death: O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:16-18 KJV)

The Secret to Being Courageous

Take a close look at their words. They didn’t beat around the bush or leave anything to question. They took a strong stance, and said what they meant, and meant what they said; something at times that we seem to be lacking in today’s culture. I love the gall, the guts, the strength and the courage it took for these young men to stand up for truth in this way! However, it was not, as we may assume, some extra measure of strength that they were given from birth, and which we don’t have, that allowed them to take this stand. They were human beings; men just like us. They breathed air, had blood pumping through their veins, stubbed their toes, and felt fear just like we do. Yet through the power of God, they stood up to the most powerful monarch in the Neo-Babylonian Empire, in the face of certain death.

How were they able to do this? Obedience! They simply did the right thing! They feared God more than man, and they had a heart that was compelled to honor God! They didn’t allow the weight of the moment to dictate to them what they believed and what they were willing to go along with. They drew a line in the sand and stood up for truth. 

Daily Training

So then, what about us? How can we have this kind of world-shaking courageous faith? I think we demonstrate this type of faith and honor for God when we are courageous in the way we love and lead our families, the way we carry out our day to day, the way we treat our waiters/waitresses at restaurants, etc. As husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, employees, students, friends, and neighbors we must do the hard thing, and honor God with our lives! Often I think we are waiting for a big moment to stand up and be courageous, but we must train our hearts to be courageous in the daily decisions. He who is faithful with little will be faithful with much. We must take a stand for truth when the truth is under fire. So I ask, what are you facing today that God is calling you to stand up to with courageous faith, with guts and tenacity? Is it a situation with your kids, a struggle in your marriage, a temptation/sin in your life, a situation at work, a financial burden, a health issue, or…?

Do you have what it takes? Can you do that hard thing? Can you stand up for truth, honor God, and do what is right? And I answer, through God’s power, and in His strength, yes, of course, you can! I won’t lie to you and tell you it will be easy. It may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but it’s worth it! God blesses obedience! It moves his heart. In fact, there is a principle in scripture that Obedience is greater than sacrifice. In other words, God would rather have your simple obedience than to have gifts or sacrifices from you. He wants your heart because He cares about your heart. Ultimately obedience to God is for our good and His glory. So go attack “it”, whatever “it” is, with all the resolve, determination, and vigor you have! Remember that the Lord your God is with you wherever you may go. So be Strong and Courageous! 

3 Questions to ask yourself when faced with the need for Courage

1. Am I living for myself or for the greater cause of God’s Kingdom?

2. Am I trying to take a stand in my own strength or in God’s power in me (faith)?

3. Even if the outcome is hard, will I still obey what God says?

Warrior On!

Adam Leichner

Adam is a Christ follower, a husband, a father, a pastor, a worship leader, a songwriter, and a podcaster. Adam is originally from Wichita, Kansas and currently serves as a Worship and Young Adult Pastor. He and his wife Meagan have 2 children. Adam is also an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, water skiing, snow skiing, camping and being in God’s creation.

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