The I AM says I am courageous!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
As Dorothy, Toto, The Scarecrow and The Tinman skipped down the infamous yellow brick road toward The Land of Oz they were startled by a lion. They should have been scared, really scared. Lions are, after all, the “King of the Beasts” due to the fact that they largest meat-eating animals in the world. But you know this story, right? This was no ordinary lion, this was a cowardly lion! And as much as he tried to put up a front concealing his fears he simply couldn’t hide the truth…he was scared. So, Dorothy invited her new friend, The Cowardly Lion, to continue on the journey with her and her friends to request courage from the esteemed Wizard. Ultimately the wizard gives the lion a medal of bravery and because of this…the lion is no longer afraid.
Yesterday we learned that in Christ we are fearless. Fear is a state of mind that holds us back. But courage…courage is about taking action despite fear. Courage moves us forward. And the only way to have courage is to choose faith over fear! In our story above we see a shift in the lion who began scared but became courageous! Why? Because he had faith in that medal. But like so many things in our lives – it was a false faith. Our faith must come from God. For us to be fearless for Him and move forward in courage, we must put all our faith in the One who died for us.
Queen Esther, like you and me, created on purpose for a purpose, is a great example of choosing faith in God over her own fear. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). You see, a decree had been sent out to annihilate the Jews of the Kingdom. Secretly being a Jew herself, she knew that she had to do something to intervene. She needed to talk with her husband, the king, but she was not to approach him unless invited? (So many thoughts here; but I won’t go there now.). But as the story goes, after fasting and praying for three days, she overcame her fears and courageously approached King Xerxes. “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). She did go to the king; she did not perish, and Queen Esther ultimately saved her people from obliteration. Her courage to create change wasn’t grounded in her belief in herself, her looks or her ability, but in the deliverance that could only come from her God!
One can’t have courage without faith. They are different sides of the same coin. Without faith, our subconscious minds jump into protection mode and literally stops us from taking action. Sisters, I don’t know about you, but I want to have courage in my calling! So today, let’s choose faith over fear, let’s bring out our inner Esther, and let’s stand in front of our King and exclaim, “I am courageous…because He said so!”
Additional Reading: Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Joshua 1:9; Psalm 138:1-3; Acts 14:19-22
I praise You today for all that You are; You are the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are the I AM! I know that You created me on purpose for a purpose. I am who You say I am. The enemy wants to hold me back from living out the calling You have placed on my life. Lord, saturate my mind with the truth of Your Word so that I may remember that my identity is found in You and only You. Remind me throughout the day, when the world comes tumbling in, that You are in control. Reveal Your will in my life as I only want to please You. No matter how difficult my day becomes I will remember that I can do all things through You (Phil 4:13). In Jesus' name. Amen