Being A Disciple in 2013 (3 of 4)
Remember the scene from the Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the Scare-Crow meet the Lion. He acts tough, but then when Dorothy gives him a little slap on the nose he starts bawling. He lacked courage. In a day when the convictions of the world are so at odds with the convictions of a disciple, we need courage.
I’m not talking about Wizard of Oz courage that comes from a medal for bravery. I’m talking about a courage that comes from inside and allows us to live like the people of God 24/7. We are talking about courageous faith over fear. Faith and fear have much in common: “they both believe that what you can not see will happen to you.” Trust me I understand both fear and faith.
I have an unhealthy fear of heights. This fear does not come from any experience. I have never fallen from a height, nor have I seen anyone fall. My fear is that somehow my glasses which it firmly on my face will somehow be sucked off my head, I will not be able to see and I fall. A monthly support group meets on the patio deck of the IDS Tower, but no one has ever had the courage to show up.
I also know what it means to trust in faith alone. It is by faith that Shirley and I have moved across country several times to answer the Call of the Lord. It is by faith that I have launched this new ministry working part time in retail sales, and trusting the Lord to provide as we need. I also have been a passenger on a tour bus in the Dominican Republic (talk about a mix of fear and faith).
As Disciples in 2013 we need true faith based courage to live with conviction. Paul tells the young, and most likely scared, Timothy about the Spirit that lives inside.
2 Timothy 1:6-8 (NIV)
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,
Fear is what kept the children of Israel from entering the promised land. It was fear that left them wandering for 40 years. It was the God given courage that led them in to take possession of the land God had promised. What is dominant in your walk of Discipleship, fear or faith?
So where does courage come from? It comes from a God who promises to never leave us abandon. It comes from a powerful Spirit of Christ that lives inside us. It comes from the Living Word of God that page after page calls us to be courageous. It comes from the Love of God which he demonstrated to us.
(side note – as I work on this post a song came on my Spotify – Fear is Easy Love is Hard)
Scripture reminds us that the Lord commands us to be courageous. He commands us to rest in Him, and trust in the promises he gives to us.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
So how do we master our own fear, and draw on the strength of the Lord to help us be people of courage? Great question. Come back again for part 4 of this series.