Lately, I have been pondering about courage and strength. It’s been picking at me. My thinking has been rather selfish though. It has not necessarily been based on my trust in the Lord, but rather my trust in myself. Perhaps I’ve been evaluating myself to determine whether I have the courage to boldly act. But this is not where courage should stem from. My courage, along with any courage should stem form the Lord. With faith we are blessed with courage, because we certainly do not have enough or any on our own.
Last night I was on the phone with my best friend talking about life and pretty much anything else that was going on with us, but the reason for the call was to talk about courage and advice. The courage we talked about dealt with a different set of circumstances, yet it was fully relevant to any display of courage in my life. The circumstance we talked about was one that I literally have no courage in. I will run away from this circumstance like a chicken. The conversation made me think, it made me realized I have not been displaying much courage in many areas. I have instead, just shied away.
After we hung up, I began reading my Bible. I had closed my eyes and closed the book. Next, I blindly opened up the Bible, then my eyes, I was staring at the book of Ezekiel. I begun reading chapters 2 and 3 and immediately realized there was NO coincidence whatsoever in me opening up to this. As I read,
stand up on your feet and I will speak to you
it came to me that not only do we, and I, lose courage, but we are unaware of our calls. We are lazy in our ways, sitting around doing whatever on a couch, or being pulled down and entrapped with all the “things” going on in our lives. We forget to stand up and come to him, to get off the couch, or to step back and realize we have been too caught up with our lives. What comes next is really why I believe God chose this passage. After Ezekiel is told to talk to God’s rebellious people at Tel Aviv, God constantly tells him to not fear.
Fear is the way Satan masks himself with our voice, he gives us doubt and exposes insecurities. Fear blocks courage. God addressed this because he knew such a difficult task would bring about fear, he knew fear would cause Ezekiel to disobey and cause him not to do his job well. This is just like us, especially me. I have not been courageous because I have not been trusting enough. But there is reassurance! God always lifts us up just like he did Ezekiel. He lifts us up to give us courage and guidance, and to show his support.
Ezekiel is an inspiration as well as a role model. He answers and obeys. He shows courage not fear. He does the Lord’s work when he knows it will not be received well. He shows us what it is like to go about God’s work. One thing I have been working on is being like Ezekiel and blocking out fear so that God’s will be done. It’s not easy, but it will be rewarding and worth it. It never ceases to amaze me, the way God works in our lives.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong
-1 Corinthians 16:13