Bravery or Fear?

I want to be brave. My inner warrior wants to fearlessly walk down unknown roads, fight awesome battles, and launch into deep waters. I want the kind of trust that goes even when I don’t know where I’m being led.

The truth is, I talk a brave talk that does not always match up with my faith.

Everything I want to do, hope to accomplish, and dream of achieving is dependent on my willingness to step out of the safety and security of the boat. Just like Peter getting out of the boat in Matthew 14:22-33, I sometimes start out very enthusiastically, only to get distracted by the water and winds around me. And when that happens, just like him, I’m sunk (pun intended).

There are many times I am my own worst enemy. To be honest, my grand ideas of recklessly following God, would be a whole lot easier if it weren’t for me. It’s not that I don’t know what God’s word says about trusting Him to guide and protect me; it’s just not always easy to live that out.

How can I be brave when we are so weak?

What should my response be when fear raises its ugly head.

Well, for starter, we need to go straight to the voice of authority. That’s what I do. And for me, that voice is the One True God. The One who’s authority is infallible.

Isaiah 40:8      The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.

And here is what God’s word tells me.

Fearlessness does not come by my own strength.

Zechariah 4:6     ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

In fact, the battle is not mine to begin with.

2 Chronicles 20:15  This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

My help comes from God.

Psalm 121:1-2    I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

In fact, the Bible says my strength is through God, precisely when I am weak.

2 Corinthians 12:9    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

When I press into what God says about fear, I know bravery is not based on feelings of fearlessness. Bravery is not based on me at all! Knowing what the Bible says about fear, may not change the emotion, but it changes the outcome. That knowledge gives me the confidence to push into the unknown.

God’s word says He doesn’t give us fear – he gave us power!

2 Timothy 1:7    For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

My confidence is in Him. The One who hung the stars, filled the oceans, fights the battles, and gives me his strength.

Psalm 28:7  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

I am not brave because I have no fear. I am brave because the one I trust is reliable. So, I fly, how I run, how I step out in His strength, and not by mine.

For me, it’s pretty clear this bravery thing is not birthed in my own strength, but in my relationship with God. In Him I am strong.

So where do you need to be fearless?

If you need a dose of bravery, I challenge you to get into Scripture. That’s the source of true bravery.

Romans 10:17    So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Then, take a step. Reach up. Walk towards whatever scares you. Go with the knowledge that God is your strength, and trusting Him makes us fearless.

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