The Secret of Courage

11:03 AMHeather

Wow.  Wow. Wow.  As I wrap up the last week of Priscilla Shirer's Bible study, One in a Million, I am overwhelmed.  Mind.  Officially BLOWN.  Let me tell you, bloggy friend, if there was ever a study you must do, it's this one.  I don't care if you've heard the story of the Israelites and their Exodus a million times or can recite the movie lines of The Prince of Egypt by heart.  God anointed Priscilla Shirer when she wrote this study.  Because this familiar story has brought me very fresh insight.

I woke up this morning not sure that I'd blog.  My mind was blank.  And, my attitude stank, honestly.  I just didn't feel like I had anything to offer.  Until I sat down to do my  Bible study, more out of routine than desire, honestly.

And, there it was.  Insight about abundant living.  Fresh perspective about leaving behind the status quo, the fears, the doubts, the yuck in order to walk into the Promised Land of abundant living and intimate fellowship with God.  No matter what.

Do you want to know what blew my mind this morning?  (Please say yes!).  I found the secret to courage.  Like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, I was given courage.  Priscilla (we're on a first name basis now.  I've done three of her studies and I even saw her on Main Street in Grapevine one time)...Priscilla had us look at the difference between how Moses responded to God's call to lead his people out of Egypt (Exodus 3:11, 13; 4:1,10) and how Joshua responded to God's call to head up the army of Israelites in battle (Exodus 17:10).  

And here it is...the difference.  That made ALL the difference...

..."One was concerned about who and what was against him while the other looked immediately to the One who was for him."    -Priscilla Shirer, One in a Million

Wow.  There you have it.  The secret to courage.  The secret you might need, like me, to face hard circumstances.  We can gaze ahead to what is is against us--the struggles of mothering, the hardships of health issues, the weight of financial troubles, the heartache of broken relationships.  And, the result is that we feel overwhelmed.

Or we can turn our eyes to look instead to the One who is for us.  We can focus our attention on the truths of the promises of the One who never breaks a promise.  We can look to the mounting troubles we face.  And we feel defeated and beat down and unable.  Or we can turn our eyes to the One who is FOR us.  We can remember that if God is for us, who can be against us?  We can remember that the Sovereign, Omniscient, Omnipresent God of all that exists is the One in our corner.  

Oh that I would spend more time meditating and learning about the character of my God instead of wallowing in the worries of my circumstance.  That I would fix my eyes on the Author and Perfector of my Faith instead of fixing my attention on all the what if's.  What a difference this change in attention and perspective would make in my heart and in my life.  

And, the result?  Instead of worry and anxiety and defeat, I would feel encouraged by reminding myself that I serve a Holy, Righteous, All Powerful God who calls me his own.

When we face health issues, we can remember that our Jesus heals.  And, if our illness continues, we can remember Paul.  Paul, whose thorn in his flesh was never removed.  But instead, the Lord allowed it to linger in order that Paul would call out and see God show up in his weakness.  When we face financial crisis, we can feel hopeless.  Or, we can memorize and pray and stand on the promise that we serve a God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and promises to provide for our needs.  We can look ahead to all the potential doom that might come.  Or can sit back and remember all the ways that He has shown up for us in the past.    

When we face the heart break of a broken marriage or a broken relationship, we can feel so alone.  That we might look to the One who resurrects dead things, who quiets us with his love, who restores and redeems what is lost.  That we might lose ourselves in pursuing our relationship with Him, and knowing Him more.  There, we find courage in remembering who is for us rather than what is against us.

Glimpse of GRACEAs Moses stood on the mountain, overlooking the Promised Land that he would never enter, the Bible tells us that he could see all across the land.  I've always chalked that one up to a great view.  But, through this Bible study, I've come to learn that God gave him a supernatural vision of the abundance available.  May we all pray for eyes to have such vision.  Eyes to see how he is working in the details of our day.  Minds to remember his acts of faithfulness by way of fueling our courage about the One who is for us.  Ears to hear his subtle messages, his quiet whispers and his clear direction.

I love that Priscilla expressed how courage is facing head-on the circumstances that we face.  You see, I've always imagined courage to be more than that--to be winning our battles.  But, God wants us to have the courage to face them.  He will fight for us.  We need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).  We need only to turn our gaze from that which we are up against to the One who is for us.  There, we find the seed of hope and strength and yes, courage, to move forward.  One baby step at a time, in the righteous right hand of the One who upholds us.  May you be enCOURAGED today.  Your God IS for you!

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