You won’t catch me parasailing off the back of a cruise ship, rappelling down a mountain, or jumping out of an airplane. When my girls were little, I wouldn’t even ride the kiddie roller coaster with them at the fair. “If you want to ride THAT ride,” I told them, “you’re on your own.”
This is why I had to chuckle when a patient of mine, hearing I was planning a trip to Japan, remarked, “Wow, you’re BRAVE.” I’ve gotten similar responses about my two mission trips to Mexico. People also call me courageous when they hear I’m a women’s ministry speaker.
“I could NEVER stand up in front of people and speak,” they say. “You’re very brave.”
And when they hear that I asked a stranger if I could pray for her? Over-the-top brave according to most people’s estimation.
I smile when I think about these comments, because I know that a timid, cowardly heart beats inside my chest. Within my own strength, I am decidedly NOT brave.
So why do I do brave things? The simple answer is because the Lord tells me to. When we know the Lord is calling us to do something, it’s no longer a matter of preference. It becomes a matter of obedience. And with the desire to obey God and do what he is calling us to do comes a bold confidence that he will also enable us to accomplish it.
Remember when God called Moses to tell Pharaoh to free the Israelites? Moses almost stammered and stuttered his way toward disobedience. “I I I cccccan’t, Lord,” he said, “I st-st-sttttutter.”
“I’ll put the words in your mouth,” God said. “Now go!” And Moses went. We all know what came of that act of obedience.
Remember what God said to Joshua when he called him to lead the Israelites in battle to conquer the land of Canaan? "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them” (Jos 1:1-2).
God called Joshua, and then he promised to go with him: “I will give you every place where you set your foot . . . . No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (v. 3-5).
The same is true for us, because God does not change. Just as with Moses and Joshua, when he calls us, he will also equip, provide for, and enable us to do what he calls us to do.
This is why we can boldly go on mission trips to foreign countries. This is why we can share our faith without fear. This is why we can give and work and speak and minister in Jesus’ name with confidence—because “the everlasting God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27).
Is God is calling you to a task that seems too big and scary for you to accomplish by yourself? Guess what? You’re right where he wants you to be. And he has something to say to you:
“Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Jos. 1:8).
I’m spending 10 days in Yokusuka, Japan, to visit my daughter and encourage a group of Navy wives. Will you pray for me?
What have you done that others have considered brave? I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell us about it. And if the Lord is leading you to do something brave, please leave a comment below so we can pray for you.
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