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Saturday, December 27, 2008

COURAGE and DESIRE

" I would have fainted unless I believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (PSALM 27:13,14)



What is this courage we are told to have? Apparently it is important for anyone who believes in God and wants to please Him. The admonition to have courage is mentioned throughout the Bible. It says that without faith it is impossible to please God; I have also noticed the frequency of the courage that is a requirement to please Him. A few examples ~



"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He is the One who goes with you, He will not fail you, nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)


Joshua 1:9 says " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage: do not be afraid and do not be dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with you wherever you go."




Given the political climate in our nation and the world today, the wars, the economy, the violence and so forth, anyone who wants to withstand the onslaught will need all of the courage they can muster. We have many enemies that seek the failure and embarrassment of anything or anyone who takes a strong stand for the God of the Bible; the God of Israel.



In Joshua 10:25, Israel faced known and unknown enemies, as do we. We need a "Joshua mindset" and speak, believe, and pray as he did - "Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all of your enemies against whom you fight." The enemies were destroyed outright; ours will be also if we take courage and fight. My present enemies may be health issues, debt, job insecurity, lust, unbelief, lack of strong faith, alcohol or drug abuse, an unsaved loved one or spouse and more. Anything that keeps me from dwelling in the peace and security of God or that ruins or interferes with my relationship and effectiveness with God is my enemy. God promises our victory; my part in the process is to believe, to stand, to be strong and have courage in Him.



God told King Solomon if he obeyed His commands he would prosper. He admonished Solomon to " be strong and of good courage (1 Chronicles 22:13) -dread not, do not be dismayed at what may arise." Those instructions in these uncertain times apply to you and I. "...do not dread or be dismayed at what may arise."


King David also admonished his son Solomon, " Be strong and of good courage, and do it; fear not nor be dismayed; for the LORD God, even my God, will be with you; He will be with you; He will not fail you, or forsake you, until you have finished the service of the house of the LORD." (1 Chronicles 28:20) I take these scripture to heart and apply them today, because -
* I am a Believer.
* I am a child of the living God.
* He does not change.
* He dwells in me and I in Him.
* I am His house on this earth and in this vessel of clay.
Like Solomon, He will not fail me, nor forsake me, until I have finished the service He has for me in this house in which I live!


A critical part of my job while living in this house of clay is to walk in strength, courage, and faith in Him; believing and acting on His promises to me through Scripture. We are in a land where we are strangers and Pilgrims. Many unexpected things are on the horizon. But, God instructed the Children of Israel, as He does us, to "see the land, what it is, whether there be cities or tents - strength or weakness - tents or strongholds - fat or lean - watered or barren - be of good courage, no matter the condition...." !


No matter the condition we must have confidence, courage, and comfort as we fight in the land we are entering in the coming days. What is this courage spoken of? I have found five main interpretations in Strong's Concordance, this courage spoken of is:

1. to seize upon Him
2. to burden myself upon Him
3. to fasten upon Him
4. to fortify myself on Him
5. to be urgent about the matter, to behave self valiantly in my belief in Him and His goodness toward me.



As usual, the enemy of my soul arises and whispers, " you are not really His!" or "you have upset Him greatly and He does not hear you now" or "your desires and your request are not pleasing to Him..."


I try to settle this matter, this mental and spiritual warfare immediately. First of all, Jesus said the devil was a liar and the father of lies. Jesus said He would never leave me nor forsake me. He said He is with me always. God is not a god like the gods of this world; His ears are not hardened that He cannot hear, His eyes are not dim that He cannot see. He even knows the desires and intents of our hearts. So there you go! The enemy is a liar!



God said He would give us the desire of our heart if we pray according to His will. If He is the desire of our heart, everything else pales in comparison. All we desire is more and more of Him. He is the desire of my heart. If we have Him, what more do we need? The desire of my heart? On occasion, I need a spiritual heart transplant; He is a specialist in that also!



1 John 5 says our confidence is in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us; And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him. We must have courage to enter and make our request. We must have courage, confidence, and faith. If we lack any of these things that are pleasing to Him, all we need to do is ask Him to provide them for us.


He is our Father. He desires truth in our inward parts (Psalm 51:5). In our inward parts He will impart wisdom. What is wisdom? To fear God, that is the beginning of wisdom (Job 28:28 and Psalm 51:6) As the days grow darker and great darkness falls upon the earth, we will, like King David, desire Him in the night, yes, with our spirit within us we will seek Him early (Psalm 111). He hears every prayer.



We can boldly say " For this is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14) Our victory is truly in Jesus. Fear not! For He is with us! Be not dismayed, for He is our God. He will strengthen us, yes, He will help us; He will uphold us with His mighty right hand!


Oh victory in Jesus,
Our Saviour forever,
He sought us, and He bought us,
with His redeeming blood-
He loved us before He knew us,
and all my love is due Him,
He brought me to victory,
with His redeeming blood!!
Have a wonderful Sabbath thinking upon Him.



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