Thursday, February 11, 2010

Courage is a Four Letter Word

Courage is a Four Letter Word
November 2, 2009
Gen 22:9 "When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood."

A crazy thing happened; you're never going to believe it. There was a man who had never had a son before and his wife finally gave birth to a bouncing baby boy when the man was 100 years old. This son was a gift from God, a promised fulfilled by the Lord God Almighty. Then God asked something of the man that was outrageous. God asked the man to tie the boy up, kill him, spill his blood on the ground, and set his flesh ablaze upon a pile of rocks. What? That's crazy. What is even crazier is that the man complied. The man took his one and only son up to a mountain top and tied the boy up. Can you believe that? A loving father, tied his son up with ropes, set him on a pile of rocks, and raised his knife to the boy's throat. Thankfully the Lord intervened, saving the boy's life. It sure was a close call. Evidentially, God was just testing the faith of this centenarian name Abraham. Regardless, I bet the boy never trusted being left alone with his dad after that.

When we hear this story about Abraham and Isaac, we instantly think of the words faith and righteousness, as that is how the Bible describes the story. But there is another word we should think of; it is courage. Courage is taking a bold action, when prudent advice might warn otherwise. That's right, courage is being bold. I'm not the world's best father, but there is no way I could hear a voice, consider it God's voice, and sacrifice my son to death. I would question the voice, drown it out with my own thoughts and bury the idea deep, deep inside a well. At this stage in my life, I'm pretty good at hearing the voice of God, but don't think I could ever hear the voice of God tell me to kill my own son, even if it was truly God. But Abraham, he was courageous and took a bold step. I am a coward when you compare me to Abraham. I bet you are, too. I doubt you could lay your loved one down on an altar, look him in the eyes, and raise a knife to his throat. But that is exactly what God wants.

God wants bold Christians. God wants individuals who will serve Him with enough fortitude to do something courageous and bold when prudent advice might warn otherwise. I'm not suggesting that God wants you to kill someone, I'm saying maybe God wants you to do something bold, take a leap of faith on His voice, and stick yourself out there. Maybe God wants you to leave your current career and go to the mission field. Maybe God wants you to cash out your retirement and give it to a specific cause. Maybe God wants you to get rid of your boat or motorcycle or toy, in order to spend more time with your family. Maybe God wants you to take your kids out of certain sports that hinder a regular time attending church. Maybe God wants you to homeschool your children. Maybe God wants you to change your major in college. Whatever it is, it will take a bold step. But the problem is, we are all wimps when it comes to doing something courageous.

Too often, we don't stop to listen to God's voice, or we hear it and drown it out. We consider the task too difficult, too risky, too outrageous and bold. We aren't willing to leave our comfort zone in order to truly follow God. Today, God wants you to take that step out. There is something that comes to mind, something that you've been feeling in your heart for a while now, and God wants you to take action on it. God wants you to be bold, like Abraham, and do something that might make you look and feel foolish. Stop fleecing the Lord's command and just do it. Be bold. You'll be glad that you did, Abraham was.

1. What have you done in your life that might be considered bold?
2. What is God asking you to do, that you are ignoring?
3. How can you always step out and be a bold Christian?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Gen 18:27, Gen 18:31, Psalm 138:3, Pro 28:1, Mark 15:43, Acts 4:29, Heb 11:17, James 2:21

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