There is something about the notion of COURAGE that is attractive. There is something about the word itself that draws me, I must say. The root of the word Courage comes from the Latin root ‘cor’ meaning heart. When we choose to be courageous, we are living from our full heart. Courage finds its home in the heart of God, who told us repeatedly in Scripture to ‘be strong and courageous’. Why? Because he is with us!
These people were great role models for us, even in their human weakness.
~>Abraham realized God’s purpose for him when he courageously trusted God who told him he would be the father of many nations. Abraham trusted God when he promised that his descendants would have a land of their own.1,2 Then exercising the utmost of courageous faith, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his most beloved treasure, his son Isaac, Abraham was obedient, but God provided a substitute.3
~>Stranger than fiction, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, commissioning him to go and lead his people out of captivity in Egypt. Though Moses initially said, ‘Uh-uh’ to God because of his fear that he would be inadequate, he ultimately believed God that he would give him the words to say to Pharaoh. God did, he did and then Moses walked across the Red Sea on dry land . . . can you spell f-r-e-e-d-o-m? Trusting God would keep his word gave Moses the courage.
Just two examples of simple men who chose to courageously trust God and in obedience to him, exercise their individual purpose. The fact is, it took courage that God alone could supply them. Consider what God said to Joshua, the general who succeeded Moses. (Can you imagine being the guy to follow Moses?!)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”4
Joshua had the unique purpose of leading the Israelites from the desert into the Promised Land.
Three men. Three unique purposes. All took courage. All took a big trust in God. What is God calling you to do? What is God’s unique purpose for you? How has he equipped you to do what only you can do?
Often it is obedience to God that requires our courage.
The old song says, ‘though none go with me, still I will follow…’ Walking in courage, fortitude, and confidence in God alone—that’s how we are meant to live. Yes, sometimes obedience to God is a lonely trek, as folks turn away ~ but God promises to go with us, wherever we go.
The Scottish preacher of yesterday, George MacDonald, really ‘got’ the importance of obedience. He believed that all of life’s truth could be discovered as part of an extremely simple, two-step process: realizing who God is, then obeying him.5
“Draw us near to you, Lord – for in you we have the will to obey you and walk with you; in you alone, we have a unique purpose and access to the courage to walk it out. Speak to us, dear Lord. Amen.”
1 – Genesis 17
2 – Genesis 12.1
3 - Genesis 22.1-19
4 – Joshua 1.9
5 - Knowing the Heart of God - where obedience is the one path to drawing intimately close to our Father. George MacDonald, Michael R. Phillips.