Monday, January 30, 2012

Made to Be Courageous

I recently watched the movie "Courageous" with my family. Wow! Courageous is a powerful movie inspired by everyday heroes who long to the be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children - by being the type of Christian men desires us to be. I was deeply moved by watching this, and here is a part of a prayer I wrote that evening...
Lord - help me be courageous. In little things and in big things. Help me courageous to always  choose the right action, the action that honors you, serves others, and draws me closer to your Son. My words and my actions matter. Not because of who I am or anything special about me, but because of what God is doing through me, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of the Father, in the name of the Son. My actions matter because every act comes either from believing the truth leading to obedience and growth in Christlikeness, or from believing a lie, leading to sin, and grieving somebody. Every opportunity. Every act. It draws us to the Father, or pulls us away. Surrender is key. Not partial surrender. Not giving up one thing while holding back another. Total surrender. God is holy. He and He alone is utterly worthy of our whole life, and nothing less. 
My words and my actions matter, because so many eyes, including four very, very special ones, are on me, wondering if the Christ I preach is real, if the Bible I teach is one I follow, if the Spirit I say lives in me, works through me. Does God really matter in my life? Do they matter? My actions and words can encourage, they can build up, or my words or actions can wound. Wound horribly. May it never be so - Lord, help me be courageous. 
Afterwards I was wondering what the Bible had to say about being courageous, and I remembered II Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (NIV84)  As I looked more closely at the words translated timidity and self-discipline, I noticed something pretty cool. Timidity could well be translated cowardice. Cowardice (deilos) is not simply fear (phobos), it is allowing fear to stop you from taking an action you know is right. Self-control is more than just willpower or an aptitude for self-discipline beyond our control, but it is a sound mind and sober thought that allows us to take the tough action we know is right. In this context, it could be considered as a call to be courageous. To be courageous is not to be fear-less, but to choose to act according to what is right or called for rather than to give in to that fear.

Will you ask God today to help you live a courageous life?

No comments: