Last time I wrote about another important key to being used by God and that was, being obedient when He asks you to do something or say something.
How have you been doing with that? Are you finding that you are increasingly feeling a gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit to respond to what you’re hearing?
Well I’m hoping that if you have been reading this series and the Gifts of the Spirit series then the answer to these questions will increasingly be yes!”
So, it’s time for another key to being used by God…
Start living courageously.
How are you doing with this at the moment?
Maybe you are excited that you are increasingly hearing from God but feel scared and apprehensive about doing anything with it? Or even that a lack of courage is a road block to doing what God is asking you to do or say?
So, what is courage?
Courage is… the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.
Or, it can be strength in the face of pain or grief.
I just love all the synonyms for courage:
bravery, braveness, courageousness, pluck, pluckiness, valour, fearlessness, intrepidity, intrepidness, nerve, daring, audacity, boldness; dauntlessness, doughtiness, stout-heartedness, hardihood, manfulness, heroism, gallantry; backbone, spine, spirit, spiritedness, mettle, determination, fortitude, resolve, resolution: guts, grit, spunk, gutsiness, gameness; informal: bottle, ballsiness; moxie and cojones.
I have never considered myself to be a particularly courageous person but over the last few years I have been on an adventure with God and I have grown in this area so much. My journey started when I stepped out and joined up to do TSM (Supernatural Ministry School). I soon realised that being courageous had just ramped up a notch to say the least!
I have learnt to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my everyday life which has been fun but then I have had to act on them (I’ve not managed this every single time by the way)! So, this is where the courage comes in.
Being courageous in a situation where you must do something out of your comfort zone takes a great deal of nerve. I have learnt that courage isn’t the absence of fear but choosing to do it anyway. You have to literally step through fear to get to the other side and I often feel lacking in courage and sometimes I let the fear win but more often I am choosing to feel the fear and do it anyway!
Once you get to the other side it’s such an amazing feeling and there is a rush of excitement and adrenaline that makes you feel great but better than that is the feeling of God’s pride in you for being obedient to His voice and the applause of heaven over you, which always outweighs any other feeling I may have had before the act of courage.
I have learnt that courage looks different for everyone and what seems a big deal for one person, another finds incredibly easy. For instance, I am more at ease with speaking to someone on the street about Jesus than I am to singing a prophetic song over someone, a friend or not. But, for you this may be something completely different like offering to pray for someone at work, school or mother and toddler group etc. or speaking a word of encouragement to someone who serves you in a shop or restaurant or even offering to pray for someone who needs a healing.
I have also learnt this, that as you step out and depend on the Holy Spirit to guide you He will. What was once a scary thing to do becomes less so and the outcome is so worth it you want to do it again. You begin to notice your parameters for courage change and what once took lots of courage has become easier and you can do so much more than you could. As this happens you are moving into deeper waters without realising it which is where all the adventure and fun is with God. You become more and more reliant on Him showing up and your relationship grows and flourishes as you press into Him.
When I was thinking about pressing into God and trusting in Him, He gave me a picture of a child learning to ride a bike. At first the stabilisers were on and the child was wobbling around even though there were stabilisers on the bike, but was in no real danger of falling off. Once they had gained their balance there was less wobbling. Then comes the moment when the stabilisers are removed and I saw a dad holding onto the back of the bike to steady the child so they could feel what it was like without the stabilisers but still with the security of feeling ‘held’. Then the dad started to let go a bit and the child was pedalling but still felt held. But, unbeknownst to the child the dad had completely let go and the child was riding independently. Every time the child wobbled the father’s hand would grab hold until they were steady again.
I felt like it was a picture of God’s fatherly love for us and how he has always ‘got us’. We must go through the wobbly stage to learn to trust in Him and allowing Him to hold on until He thinks we’re ready, in His timing and not ours. But also, to learn to trust that even when we become proficient, if we were to hit a bump in the road He would be there with His faithful and loving hand extended to us to keep us safe.
Stepping out and doing ‘the stuff’ God wants us to do is sometimes scary and demands us to be courageous, but it’s how we grow. Whenever we feel wobbly He wants us to know He is there and whether you feel His hand or not He is there. He is looking on with fatherly pride at how far we have come.
I was reminded of this quote (not sure who said it):
‘God doesn’t called the equipped, He equips those He’s called.
How amazingly reassuring is that, even when we don’t feel qualified enough, He say’s we are and He has given us all we will need for any situation we are in.
I’m encouraged by the thought of those who knew Jesus best, His disciples who were just very ordinary people (like me and you). They were doing very ordinary jobs and weren’t particularly courageous or exceptional in any way. But they were prepared to be obedient and lay it all down to follow Jesus. This was a courageous thing to do and they then got to hang out with Jesus and learn from Him. Everything changed on the day of Pentecost when they were filled with the Holy Spirit and become extraordinary people who went on to do amazing things.
In fact, they were just like me and you. If they can do it then so can we! As Jesus said to them;
Matt 14:27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
This is as true for us today as it was for the disciples 2000 years ago. I am so grateful!
What’s your Key? Series
Part 1 You’re Invited
Part 2 My Sheep Hear My Voice
Part 3 Is That You God?
Part 4 Stepping Out
Part 5 Choose to live…Courageously
Part 6 Who’s your Courage Buddy?
Part 7 The Small Stuff Matters
Part 8 Mirror, Mirror On The Wall