Sunday, December 13, 2015

Brave


"You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave. You make me brave.
No fear can hinder now the love that made away"

What's the scariest thing about ISIS?
Or the tough part about the Crusades and Dark Ages?
It's that religion and the surrendering of God one hundred percent somehow takes away all fears. It literally makes people fearless and crazy, willing to do anything for the name of Jesus or the god who they may believe in.

And this is nothing new. If we look at the Bible we see many of Christ's disciples doing crazy things. We see Paul- totally fearless- not afraid of shipwrecks, prisons, beatings, torture. We see Daniel not afraid to pray even though they said he would be thrown to a pit of lions. Shadrach, Meshach, Obednego, Rahab, Joseph, Esther, Ruth-- we see no Biblical cowards.
For if we know Christ what can mortal men do to us?
Yet sometimes I wonder if we, the current generation, has become quite timid and lost quite a bit of this fearless faith.

"I wouldn't want to offend anyone so I won't share with them what I believe"
"I'm afraid that I will step on toes here."
"I'm afraid for the children in the church that if we bring homeless people off the street they could be hurt."
"We wouldn't want to send student missionaries to dangerous places around the world."
"Have a backup plan just in case it (our prayer)  doesn't work"

What happened to prayers to raise people from the grave?
From interceding with power instead of stuttering thank you's when we are unthankful.
What happened to honesty with our brothers and sisters in the faith?
What happened to fearless followers of Christ who died singing hymns while burning at the stake?

1 John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out all fears."

Satan wants us to be afraid. He wants us to be afraid of terrorists, crimes, calamities. He loves it when we watch horror movies so our brains will become fearful and distrusting.

He wants us to be afraid of the End times- guilting us that we haven't spent enough time with God or our faith is not good enough.

He loves it when we are fearful for when we are afraid we are self-absorbed. We build walls around us and enlist our own army to serve for our benefit and our weapons in case we must fight. We assume that people have done something against us and choose not to forgive them. We call our-self victims instead of choosing to become rulers of sin and darkness.

Fear takes advantage. It manipulates. It takes over our mind and our choices and forces us to do things we wouldn't normally do- because we are desperate. We are scared.

Love on the other hand 
Gives us choices
It looks at all people with kind eyes and chooses to forgive the ways they have hurt us
We choose to become a part of the healing of their lives and stories
Love makes us champions- to rise above our own weaknesses
Love gives us joy and peace
Companions to dance with, to laugh with
Freedom and faith
That no matter what may come
Nothing will separate us from our lover
And the love of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

For me personally, I am finding that the more I follow Jesus, the more I become fearless and bold. I used to be afraid of the medical field, of snakes, of cutting my hair short, of standing up for myself or speaking about Jesus to people. Yet all of these fears, I have faced with the help of Jesus and by God's grace I am overcoming.

Choosing to pursue a career in a medical field where I am not comfortable is not easy but stepping out of your comfort zone, taking that leap of faith to wherever God may be calling you, is always worth it. I have never experienced more of Jesus than when I was most afraid, most in need, and I let the Lord deliver me. He has never failed me- not once- but always has come through for me time and time again. So that I can declare surely the Lord is good and loving. Surely He will provide for me and He is enough for whatever my fear may be.

I encourage you to overcome your fears today. Not by might, nor by power, but by the strength of the Lord God almighty =)


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