“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for theLord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
– Joshua 1:9
I am not sure if many people would naturally describe themselves as a bold and courageous person – I feel facing fear is part of the human condition. There’s a reason why the Lord commanded Joshua and Caleb to not fear when they were tasked to take possession of the Promised Land; it’s so easy to fall into fear when we see ‘giants’ with our natural eyes. Did you know that when you fear, you actually have faith, but you’re putting your faith in the wrong thing? Having fear about your circumstance reflects that you have more confidence in a circumstance to rule over your life than your heavenly Father’s ability to take care of you!
Being bold and courageous starts from a position of quiet trust and steadfast faith. The fruit of obedience doesn’t start from a place of striving but actually starts from a place of surrender. You are surrendering your life and your future to a good good God who is more than capable of leading you and taking care of you – it is this truth that gives you steadfastness to continually follow Jesus all the days of your life. As the Awaken Generation team have prayed and sought the Lord, we have felt the Lord impressing on our hearts that 2019 would be a year of boldness and courage. If we want to go deeper in the Lord, if we truly want to know Him, it’s less about simply having knowledge of Him, but actually applying what He says in His Word, and living that out in the face of fear and pressure.
In the Awaken Generation community, we always emphasise the theme of sons and daughters and securing our identity as children of God. This is a significant and holy truth, yet I feel a further maturing coming where there’s a pull on us to delve deeper into our identity now as lovers of God – and to take our place as the bride of Christ, holy and pure, willing to lay down our lives because of our great love for the Bridegroom King. In a sense, the depth to which we grow in this maturity is up to us – the invitation from the Lord is there, but how much are we willing to trust and surrender?
The late theologian Eugene Peterson wrote a book called ‘A long obedience in the same direction’’; I love this title as it beautifully describes the journey of our Christian pilgrimage, that it is a daily choice of obedience and an unwavering faith that eventually leads to accomplishing things for the Kingdom that we thought we’d never be able to do. As you consecrate yourself and seek the Lord leading up the new year, I’d like to leave you with an old story I heard once.
There was once a mouse and elephant who crossed a rickety old bridge together. After they had crossed, the mouse turns to the elephant and said, ‘We sure shook that bridge, didn’t we?’
May 2019 be filled with faith and wonder as you witness a great and magnificent God who can do exceedingly more than what you could dream of or imagine.