Thursday, February 7, 2013

Take Courage and Take Charge

For the past year my sister has  walked a road she didn't choose or expect, and has had to endure 
"remaining in the battle"
of her life.  She has experienced such torment during her trials that at times it seems almost unbearable. 
I’ve been in prayer for her and have repeatedly asked the Lord to “take away the emotional pain”, yet it still remains.  The stress from the trials has affected her health and now a new storm is on the horizon.

Having been in "tormenting" trials myself you would think I could have given her great advice for the test she is undergoing.  The only words of comfort that kept me going are what I heard God tell me (in my spirit), “When you go through this new trial, take courage.”  He didn’t say I’ll give you courage, but to take it.  To take something is to literally bring it into your possession as if you had to pick it up in a physical action.

In our church I taught the congregation the song Be Strong and Take Courage.  I mistakenly kept telling myself that I needed to be strong leaving out the courage part.  If I was strong obviously I would have courage, right?  Wrong.  Strength is only a portion of courage. 

Willingly taking something into your possession is to believe in the person or thing you received. God was telling me that what I was to take (courage), was given to me by Him, and that He would remain with me as long as I kept courage in my possession.  I was not to fear or be discouraged, because He would be strong in me if I took the courage being offered.  The battle was with the spirits of darkness not man, and as soon as I tried to be strong on my own His strength and courage would leave me.

True Understanding of Courage

When we take medicine we believe the product is going to do what it suggests.  When it doesn't work, we bad mouth the company. Taking on a responsibility is to believe in the project.  Then why do we bail on so many things we once had such energy for in the beginning?
In marriage ceremonies the preacher will ask, “Do you take this person in matrimony.”  People respond that they do, but then get divorced.  So actually, they didn’t “take” or “believe” in the individual without reservations.  Something happened that changed the way they first believed.  What happened to the strength and courage to believe in the relationship?  Trust was broken.

Often we say we have received Christ as our Savior, but actually that’s not true.  If we truly believed God by trusting Him totally, we would take Him by faith into our lives and receive all He has to give.  No matter what happened, we would still believe He is in control over the good and bad that comes into our lives. We didn't lose strength, but somewhere along the way we lost our courage and heart to keep believing.
Look at this passage in Joshua 1:7-9:

7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Read how it's stated here:
12 Only may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed. (1 Chronicles 22:12-14 )
A new command was given to Joshua, but he didn’t feel he could carry out the task God had given to him.  The burden was great and he didn't feel equipped. He came up with excuses and reasons why he wanted out of the assignment.  It was only the Lord who could give him the wisdom and understanding that he needed to do what was being asked of him.
4 Commands to Follow
                          1. Be strong
                          2. Be courageous
                          3. Don't be afraid.
                          4. Don't get discouraged and quit

Joshua needed wisdom and understanding to carry out God’s laws in the face of trials.  He wasn't to ask, "Why me Lord?" He was told that if he continued in following the plan without getting discouraged or being afraid, that strength and courage would see him to a good end.  God even gave him charge over the circumstances. All the components for victory were there if he followed God without questioning the methods of God.
Take Courage & Take Charge

We cannot know what will happen in our lives on this earth, but we can believe there is a purpose for every road we must walk. 

I’m not going to tell you to "Just be strong", because we cannot be strong on our own.  I will ask you to pray for the wisdom and understanding needed, to take the courage you need, in order for you to take charge over the battle in your life.

“It’s not by might nor power, but by My Spirit says the LORD.(Zechariah 4:6 NKJ)

If you need strength, ask God for His strength and the courage to help you endure to the end of the trial. 
Let God take your tears and sorrows, and in exchange take the strength and courage He has generously given to take charge over the situation.

Jesus is not surpirsed or at a loss for answers over this trial.  He has been there and already has a good plan in the works.  The Lord knows how you feel and what you need to be victorious.  God lives in you - trust Him.  He is the One that will be strong for you, but only if you "take" the courage that is made available to you as His child. 

Listen to this song led by Don Moen.  Believe that in God's might and power you will be free.  Don’t be afraid to submit to His will in this trial, by love He will lead you through to the other side.  You can experience what it means to walk in the Daily Favor of God.

Copyright 2013 by Favored1
Scripture from the Holy Bible courtsey
Photo by Royalty Free Google  Images

Friday, February 1, 2013

Forward Only

Well, how are you doing with your resolutions?  Have you already gotten bored with them and quit?  Perhaps you're still sticking with them, but need a bit of encouragement. 

The year hasn't gotten off to what I hoped for yet, but I am still expecting good things this year.  When I start straying from what I had envisioned, this is what I do ... I press forward only.  Paul the apostle says it like this in Philippians.  "I press forward (only), looking and moving forward to the prize." (emphasis mine).

What does that mean?  Keep moving forward only even when life takes you back a step.  We are to keep going in spite of our difficulties or set backs.  The only way we can do that is to remind ourselves that there is a prize waiting for us if we stick to the plan.

Any runner knows that there will be only one winner, yet all run anyway hoping it will be them.  If you are a Christian, you don't have to be discouraged in your race, because all who follow Christ will win the prize.  I like being in a race where I am guaranteed to win - always.

If we let God take our hurts, pain, suffering, disappointments and guilt he is willing to forgive all our mistakes.  We are free to move forward as He intended.  Don't give up; God hasn't given up on you.  Old things are passed away, behold all things have become new. 

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Be encouraged today and press FORWARD ONLY toward your goal.  Let faith arise in you.  Lift up your hands and praise God that the prize has yet to be given.  You're still in the race.

Steps to take as you move Forward Only:

1. Move toward holiness: Let God transform you.  Conform your will to His.  Let Him mold your heart, mind and will so that you will run safely, swiftly and complete the race.

2. Move toward brokenness:  Realize that until your will is broken, you aren't going to move anywhere.  Let God break your will so you can be re-molded in the Potter's hands.

3.  Move toward faithfulness:  Let God lead you to the life He has laid out for you.  It is a good one, and it will lead you to the prize and finish line you desire.

Pressing Toward the Goal

 Philippians 3:12-16 (NKJV)


12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,[b] let us be of the same mind.
 (Scripture from BibleGateway:

No doubt. taking these steps will keep you moving FORWARD ONLY!  Press on - I'll meet you at the finish line!