Courage Check

One of the ways Israel needed to prepare for departing the wilderness and entering Canaan was through a courage check. While it’s true that living in the wilderness had been not been for the faint of heart, entering the promised land wasn’t going to be easy either. It was occupied by people who were steeped in wickedness and rebellion (Leviticus 18).

I’ve never met a person who didn’t have courage in regard to something and I’ve never known anyone who was courageous across the board. Look at Elijah; he displayed tremendous bravery on Mt. Carmel and none at all when Jezebel threatened his life. Isn’t that the way it is with us? And although some may be courageous in more areas than others, we all have knees that knock in regard to something.

Over and over again in Deuteronomy (I counted 10 x’s), Israel is told not to be afraid, and it’s linked to the truth that God is with them. Fear is nothing more than a fog that temporarily obscures our vision of our Father. Courage is what we have when the fog burns off. It is the fruit of the assurance that God is with us.

Yes, but what does this have to do with the world we’re getting ready to re-enter? After all, how hard is it going to be to have our lives enlarged and closer to normal?

First, while we do know Him who holds the future, we don’t know what the future holds any more than we did before the pandemic. And while there may not be any land to conquer, we can all think of areas in our lives that need to be enlarged and put under the dominion of Jesus. Then there’s a world around us to love and serve.

If we’re going to follow Jesus, we’re going to need courage. That’s just the way it works.   

Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

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