Courageous for Something

Devotions on the lake

A quick get-away to visit my family has been extended for several more days. I am not complaining! Lots of hugs, kisses, and laughing with my two granddaughters is the best! An unexpected few days on the beach with family was an added bonus too. And now, to be able to have some time on the lake is priceless!

This morning, I had the great pleasure of sitting on the back deck overlooking a gorgeous lake view. I grabbed a large mug of freshly brewed coffee and focused on some needed quiet time…devotions and bible study. Tomorrow, I will leave this place to return home…our new home, which is far away from this place. I’ve been asking God to give me courage during this transition and I’ve been praying for my husband, even more so to be strengthened in courage and resolve as a leader. I found what I was looking for in the book of Joshua.

This is the best leadership text and not for the faint hearted. It is as if God reaches out and shakes me to get my attention. For my husband and me personally, God has called us to a mission, this particular mission away from home and familiarity.  I am challenged that God repeats to us: “Be strong and courageous.”  I once read that nothing in life or in ministry ever happens apart from courage. There is no such thing as courage apart from mission, just as there is no such thing as faith apart from challenge. You’re not just courageous to be courageous, but you are courageous for something.[1]

I learned a few things this morning:

1. I must be courageous for something! God has given us a clear assignment. Joshua had no doubt what God called Him to do. There should be no doubt what we are called to do.

2. God promises that He is with us! God promises to never leave or forsake us. We have confidence that God will keep His promises! God will not leave us high and dry. Being courageous for something means that I fear God more than I fear my environment.

3. Be resolved! Be careful in making the right decisions. Be strong and courageous and do not sway or change course. Leadership is strengthened by acts of obedience. Being courageous for something means I need to take the first step and another step and another and another. I can not run away because of opposition.

4. Anchored in Truth! Success (or failure) in a mission is tied to my relationship with God. I need to be immersed in knowing, really knowing, God’s truth. When trials come, and they surely will, being courageous for something means I must be able to practice and apply that truth. Love God’s book. Live it. Be totally immersed.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

“Read the Bible praying, ‘Father, hold my mind’s attention. Wake my heart’s affection. Speak for your glory and my holy joy.’ – John Piper

[1] The Call to Courage │Two Ways You Can Become a Cheerful Person (“The Cheery Tree”)

 

Opportunity: Go For It!

A missed opportunity or an opportunity to go for it.

When you think back to the last ten years of your family life, career or personal business how much of what you haven’t achieved is due to missed opportunities and how much is the result of doing tasks poorly?  Do you like to play it safe and avoid all the risks that you can?

Be willing to step out of your comfort zone. You have the opportunity right now to trust God to give you strength and courage to do something out of the ordinary. Life is an adventure full of opportunities. You have the choice to go for it or cower in self-doubt and insecurity.

You have an opportunity to do something great for the Glory of God. Your work matters to God. When you perform poorly, you are not honoring Him because all that He does is good and excellent. When you are filled with more of Jesus and overflowing with more of His grace, you will have confidence to go for it…to perform with excellence for His glory.

So jump at the opportunity! Go for it!  Meet a new neighbor, volunteer at a homeless shelter, speak out against injustice, defend the weak, get out of debt, finish a degree, pray for your enemies…

Quit waiting for someone to give you permission or to say you are qualified or until you like yourself better. God has already confirmed all of that! He has chosen you. He will give you the strength and courage to go for it.