Waiting to “Be Courageous”

Sometimes it takes more courage
to stand your ground and wait
than to jump in and save the day!
It takes trust to be truly courageous.
—ag, 2016-0305

“Not yet.… not yet.… not yet.… not yet.… PULL THAT PEACH!”

Those words are from a recent (2015) funny Yoplait commercial which demonstrates the message that waiting for precise moment is essential to obtaining the best results.

 

lion-scarface
“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God…” ~Ps.31:24, MSG

Be strong and courageous in TheLORD. True courage has an attitude; it is called patience. Patience reigns our faith, holds us back from acting too soon. Whereas faith gives us a zealous expectancy of “things hoped for” and our trust in God gives us the courage to carry out His plans with expected zeal, patience controls our zeal. It keeps us from “leaning towards our own understanding”and allows us to “wait upon The LORD” so that we do not get ahead of God’s timing.  In this context, the Biblical definition of ‘strong’ means to persevere or remain consistent by waiting patiently, to stand still. The wait is not a permanent stance; it is staying in a watchful position, to “catch”the right moment, like a lion waiting for the exact moment  to pounce, in order to assure his victory in the end.

 

A perfect example of my point is found in the story of Peter when he so courageously cut off that soldier’s ear. Jesus had a better plan, but Peter just jumped in to save the day before considering a “better and more excellent way”. Then, as you may remember, Jesus had to correct Peter’s act of haste before continuing to handle the situation. Now, I don’t think anyone would call Peter a fearful man, but in that instant, Peter’s haste was based on a fearful instinct of defending Jesus and his friends. He wanted to change the circumstance in which they found themselves. Fearful situations seem to have a way of compelling us into feats of haste instead of faith.

To further emphasize this thought here is an excerpt from “COURAGE” by Frances J. Roberts.

   There are many places, My child, where only sheer courage will see you through. Prayer is the breath of the soul. Faith is paramount. Love is the essence of pure being. But none of these will suffice in the hour of stress if you have not courage.
…Courage makes perseverance attainable when encouragement is nowhere to be found… when love is gone, faith is wavering, and prayer is difficult.
Courage rises like the delivering angel out of the deep unshaken assurance of the immutability of the character and faithfulness of God… Courage keeps the destination in view and heeds not the intervening obstacles….
…Courage is the simplicity of knowing: God is working out His purposes through every circumstance of my life. His plan is GOOD, and how He chooses to act is none of my business, and whom He uses to bring it about is not my concern.

~~*~~

Joshua 1:9
“Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”

 Psalm 27:14
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous…”
NLT

“Wait {and} hope for {and} expect the Lord;
be brave {and} of good courage
and let your heart be stout {and} enduring…”
AMP

“Rely on the Lord! Be strong and confident! …”
NetBible

Psalm 31:24
“Put away fear
and let your heart be strong,
all you whose hope is in the Lord.”
BBE

“Be strong and let your heart take courage,…”
NASB

“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect GOD…”
MSG

~~*~~

SOURCES

You Tube— Yoplait Funny Commercial 2015– (link inserted above)

Hebrews 11:1— “things hoped for”

Proverb 3:5 “…leaning not unto our own understanding…”

Hebrews 8:6– “…better and more excellent way…”

“COURAGE”–Roberts, Frances J. Make Haste My Beloved,p. 86-87. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Ed.

Bible Versions: MSG~ The Message Bible; NLT~ New Living Translation; AMP~ The Amplified Bible; BBE~Better English Bible; NASB~ New American Standard; NetBible~ Net.Bible.org .

 

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“Are You Ready for Some Football!?” (Exercising Disciplines)

The very mention of ‘football’ this time of year will usually get people’s attention and initiate excited responses. But mentioning ‘exercise’ or ‘discipline’ at any given time usually brings a less than response by most; mentioning together probably doubly so? Equally so is only those who have seriously endeavoured to practice spiritual disciplines unto “perfection” will continue reading this sentence?  [Good, you are still with me.] Biblically, ‘perfection’ simply refers to spiritual maturity.

The Greek word for ‘perfection’ is “teleios“, meaning to make perfect; to carry through completely in order to bring to an end; add what is yet needed in order to render a thing full. James tells us the practice of not giving up, acting in shear endurance, persevering through all trials is what will develop such a “perfect spiritual  maturity” in believers (Jms.1:1-8). Of course, one cannot do that without knowing God. Knowing God takes a certain grace, but it begins with self-discipline in the basic spiritual disciplines, a personal effort towards learning God’s ways.

The basic spiritual disciplines are: worship (including singing, clapping, praise, etc in both personal time and congregational settings), prayer (including fasting and intercession), meditation (personally applying The Word that requires a step beyond reading and studying), consecration (self-examination with prayerful attitude leading to confession and repentance). The good news is God does not require us to learn these disciplines all alone. He continually encourages us to make use of like-believers’ insights. He gives us “the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers… to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church” (Eph.4:11,12 NLT).  Of course,our ultimate help comes from Holy Spirit, Who lives in us; He is our “helper and teacher” (John 14:26). In other words, God expects us to work with His team to carry the ball to the goal. Using a similar analogy in “We Grow Through Exercise”, Warren Wiersbe expounds on the advantages of personally exercising spiritual disciplines as well as the disadvantages  when there is a lack thereof this way:

     There was a time in church history when believers delighted to discuss the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life, but today anything that smacks of discipline is branded as “legalistic” and alien to the New Testament  emphasis on grace. …[The church seems to be] looking for guaranteed shortcuts to maturity.
     

"WE WON! WE WON!"
“We won! We won!”
Some of today’s Christians remind me of the millions of fans who crowd the sports arenas and stadiums week after week, cheering their favorite teams to victory. After each game, these fans shout, “We won! We won!” when in reality the athletes did both the playing and the winning. All the fans did was pay for a ticket, fill a seat, and make a lot of noise. The spectators are the ones who need the exercise, but they settle for shouting, “We won!” and claiming the credit that belongs only to the disciplined athletes.
     It doesn’t take much effort to to be a successful spectator… the spectators don’t experience the joy that comes with being disciplined, working with teammates, and giving their best; nor do spectators win any awards. Too many evangelical church services are attended by enthusiastic people who buy their tickets (the offering), watch the game (the service), and cheer when there is victory… They know little or nothing about exercising the disciplines that transform spectators into winning athletes who glorify God.
     If you want to be a child of God who does more than watch and cheer, you’ll have to learn the disciplines of the Christian life. You’ll have to become a disciple. Disciples are believers who practice discipline. They understand spiritual exercise. 

 ~ ♥ ~
“…train yourself toward godliness. 
Although training your body has certain payoffs,

godliness benefits all things
—holding promise for life here and now and promise for the life that is coming.”
1 Timothy 4:7b-8 (VOICE)

SOURCES:
30 DAYS TO DISCOVERING PERSONAL VICTORY THROUGH HOLINESS, by Bruce Wilkinson, chapter 9, “We Grow Through Exercise” by Warren Wiersbe.
Net.Bible.org
Biblegateway.com
VOICE- The Voice Bible
Picture image by Giovanni Gallucci from Plano, Texas (‘burb of Dallas), USA (You+Pics: SMU Mustang Student Spirit) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons