Forward Courage

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I deeply value those who have sacrificed for my freedom. To choose to fight at the peril of death takes a different kind of courage – one I can barely grasp. I served as a soldier during a time of peace. The fighting and sacrifice picture is one I can at least somewhat understand.

For the spiritual soldiers and combat warriors require selflessness and courage. This spiritual fight may also risk the lives of some and endanger family, friends, and also risk finding the approval of others. Either way, it takes courage to fight – it is much easier to choose anonymity or to go for cover when there is danger.

Today we are looking into the courage it takes to fight spiritual battles. Paul gives us many insights as he speaks from the warfare context of God’s One Woven Testament. That Jesus was a warrior there is no doubt. His peers and His nation wanted a political deliver to neutralize Roman occupation and threat. He will certainly vanquish oppression 100%. But His first coming was to set souls free. His second will be to vanquish all evil and even death itself.

√  That He has called us to fight His way is quite clear. His courage is the model for our courage and is reflected in the the teaching of the God Story. Let’s take a look.

Fighting the Fight
1 Timothy 1:18; 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7 

“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”   2 Timothy 2:4

√  To fight we must be disciplined and vigilant. There are too many enemies – too many strategies. Our fighting is meant to please our Captain. He is our Ruler and King.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  – Hebrews 12:1-2

√  We fix our eyes on Him because He left NOTHING on the table. Trust. Shame. Hope. All was lifted into the hands of His Father.

Pressing On

√  Our battles are arduous and cover the span of our lives. We learn to battle. We train for strength. And when called upon we fight this good fight. We fight because our reward is promised and WILL occur. We fight because there is no greater calling, even if His fight requires everything.

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  – Philippians 3:12-14

Fighting Weariness
Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13; Hebrews 12:3

√  A warrior must draw strength from his or her purpose. If I fight God’s fight I will only overcome by the power He places in and around me.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”  – Isaiah 40:28-31

Living in Victory
1 Chronicles 29:11; Proverbs 21:31; 1 Corinthians 15:57

√  Do you know that Christ’s victory is already won?! And our faith mirrors His faith. This is why we have been given a shield of faith for our battles. The power of God assures our hearts.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.”  – 1 John 5:4

Living in Courage
Exodus 15:3; Joshua 1:7, 9; 24:14,15

√  So from where does courage flow? Certainly the pursuit of what is right and the confidence that goes with it is huge. But perhaps more important to every soldier is knowing that his or her commander has unsurpassed skill, pure motives, and our best interests at heart.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

It takes courage to fight. God is courage and gives courage. Our victory is His victory.
Selah!
Dave and Burnadette

Strength in the Story
A good courage song

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