Is Brave What Matters Most?
Bravery does matter. All of us must choose whether or not we will be brave when the flames get close to our feet, or we reach the edge of the cliff. Fear will not fade before we make the gutsy choice. Fear is meant to be conquered, which means fighting battles, which means taking risks. There is no other way to be brave.
Upon reflection of my past and the journey Jesus has taken me on, His spirit has whispered something into my heart that I guess I knew but maybe needed to see more clearly. He's sent people to say what He was whispering, led me to scripture that revealed His whisper. It's brought me to this one place, with this one thought beating out a rhythm in my spirit.
Obedience is better than bravery.
There are many stories in God's word about not so brave people who were obedient to His voice. Moses was not brave in those early days of his commissioning from God. He argued, begged God to find someone else. Ultimately, he chose obedience even though he was terrified.
Brave came after he obeyed.
We live in a culture that says everything we do should feel fun and exciting, and if it doesn't then don't do it. That culture can easily blend into our walk with God and deceive us into thinking God will never ask anything "not fun" of us.
That is an immature and miscalculated view of God.
I am by no means an expert on any topic, but I know the journey I've been on, and I know that I have been terrified of every new thing God has put before me. I have never surrendered out of this overwhelming feeling of courage in my heart. I have only every surrendered out of an earnest desire to obey the voice of God. In every step God has revealed to me, it has always been abundantly clear that His invitation was always an invitation to obedience.
When He whispered that my heart was broken, and I needed help, it was a whispered invitation to obey. When he whispered to my heart that I should write, it was a whispered invitation to obey. When he paved the way for me to speak to other women, it was an invitation to obey. Anytime God presents us with a choice, it is always a choice of obedience.
Brave comes, it's true, but only in the surrender to His will.
Nothing God does in our lives will come without a cost. The glorious work Jesus did for us cost Him dearly. It was his obedience to His Father's will that drove him to the cross...
"Not my will, but yours..."
We live in a culture obsessed with fear. We build our lives around being safe and avoiding pain. Where does obedience fit within that mindset? Simply stated, it doesn't. Obedience will cost you something. It will take great risk on your part and you will not feel brave running into the flames.
Brave comes after we obey, not before.
I often have conversations with people about my journey and how I have come to this place of freedom. Many times, we want a quick fix, or a button we can press that makes it all okay. I understand that desire, I really do. Never was it exciting to visit the dark places in my heart. Tears had to be shed, questions had to be asked, lies had to be confronted...
It was only in obedience to God's voice that healing came.
Freedom is found only in faithful obedience to God's will. We must deny our sinful nature, our lazy nature, our independent nature...we must deny ourselves if we want to be free in this life.
How is God inviting you to obedience?
Bravery is not always a mark of obedience. We must guard our hearts against the belief that just because we make bold choices, they are God's will. That is not always true. It is true, though, that if you are following Jesus and you truly mean it, you will be called to surrender. Brave won't come first, obedience will. Rather than seeking that "magic formula" for being brave, seek to obey God's voice and do His will above all else.
In the end, our lives will be measured not by the times we ran into the fire, but the times we were obeying the voice of God when He said, "Go." The invitation to obey our God is always before us and it will always require great risk on our part.
Will you obey, no matter the risk?