Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Standing Firm With Courage

Many men, at the core of their being, long to be courageous.  He wants to stand alone and face the oncoming danger and to be the hero in the moment of desperation. That is certainly true with me. Ever since I was a young boy I have dreamt of defeating the bad guys, defending the ones I love, and rescuing the beauty from the clutches of evil.

Because of this craving in my soul I believe that God made me to live a courageous life and to be able to walk tall in the face of danger. Part of the problem is that so often the danger that exists in our lives bears little resemblance to the danger faced by James Bond and Batman on the movie screen.  Therefore it is easy to convince ourselves that no real danger exists, and all this talk of courage is just an exaggeration to play on the soul desire of men.

Our day to day lives don't seem to be dangerous because we are rarely in physical danger.  We don't have bullets whizzing past our heads or bombs exploding next to us.  It is so easy to be lulled into a sense of safety because we don't have these physical threats to our lives.  We cannot be fooled that a threat doesn't exist.

The threat which exists is the same threat that Adam faced from the very beginning.  Adam turned his back on his design, and rather than fighting for what God had given him.  We have been paying the price of Adam's failure every since.

With the coming of Jesus, through His death and resurrection, Adam's failure is being reversed.  For us to participate with what God is doing in bringing restoration to creation we have to stand firm where Adam fell.  So the apostle Paul writes:
A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against the wicked spirits in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-11; NLT)

I am convinced that when we experience fear in our relationships, when we have fear to do the right thing, or fear to attack the sin in our lives it is the enemy trying to convince us to lay down without a fight. Why does a husband fear talking to his wife? Ultimately because Satan is out there seeking destroy the marriage. Why does giving a little extra money cause fear to run through your body? The reason is Satan wants you to hoard what you have rather than being generous with God's provision. When we give into our fears we play right into Satan's hands.

God created us to live lives of courage. This doesn't mean that our lives will be absent of fear, but rather that we have lives which trust in the provision of His strength, hope, and confidence. When we live lives of courage we are able to experience God's power at work in the world around us. Even if things don't turn out the way we would like, because of the faith and courage we exhibit we are able to grow in the relationship we have with God.

Yet if we live lives of fear we will not only be held back in our relationship with God, but we also put our friends and family at risk of Satan's attacks. Think about how many children have been hurt because their parents were unwilling to face their fears and simply got a divorce. Think about how many woman have been treated like dirt because they feared being alone. When we face our fears, it is not for us alone, but it is for all those we know and love. One day they may need us to be strong and brave, and because we have gone into battle before, we will be able to respond for them. We need to be willing to face our fears and walk into the danger that awaits us.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9; ESV).

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