I recently saw the Sherwood Pictures movie Courageous. I have to say it was powerful and awe-inspiring. I was actually more blown away than I expected as I knew the movie was directed at the message of a father’s role in his family. But, while it had a powerful message to men and fathers and subsequently to wives and mothers, it left me examining why I felt so inspired and exhilarated, as being a wife or mother is not a role I am currently fulfilling.
It did, however, remind me that every Christian is called to be courageous in their faith. That even if I am not filling a role in raising a family, I do play a role in my extended family, my groups of friends and my church family. I can recall as a child always being in awe of my aunt’s boldness about her faith. I remember being a child that cared so much what others thought that I accepted being that bold was not possible for me. Obviously, now I can look back and see it had planted a seed in me. Even now I can recall, in the years before giving my life to Christ, when I really only had an intellectual belief in Christ, I never talked about even that belief. I wasn’t courageous to say the least, but a distant belief generally doesn’t spur a passionate and courageous response. However a personal revelation of Him, His goodness, His mercy, His love and His sovereignty does.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:1-2
The old is gone as Jesus prunes us and cuts away the dead within us, the parts of us that are detrimental to our life in Him. He loves us so much that He will accomplish this whether we are willing to lay our fears and strongholds at His feet or whether He needs to break us out of them.
The movie also reminded me of some of the courageous women of the Bible, and therefore my call to be just as courageous for Him. Deborah, who agreed to go into battle after Barak told her that he would lead his men against Sisera’s army only if she went with him. Jael, who then kills Sisera after he flees on foot to her tent. Ruth, who loyally stayed with Naomi even as she returned to her home and a nation that was Ruth’s people’s adversary, and was used by God in the genealogy of Jesus. Esther, who heroically broke a law, punishable by immediate death, to save her people. The woman with the issue of blood, who believed in Jesus so much she was healed through her faith-filled and bold move to touch even the fringe of Jesus’ garment. And the Samaritan woman who fearlessly went on mission for Jesus after a personal revelation that He was in fact the Messiah.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Jesus calls us to be courageous and trust He will be with us no matter what task He lays before us. It is our faith in action. The living out of our faith in a wordless testimony to those who do not know Him.
It can at times become all too easy to buy into the enemy’s lie, by looking at our, at times, seemingly mundane lives, and think ‘God can’t use me’ until you buy into His truth of who He is and how He sees you. When you accept who He is then you realize He makes the “impossible”, possible. That no matter what your role is right now, be it a youth, a single man or woman, a parent or spouse, a Sunday school teacher, a regular church attender or a church leader God can use you in His kingdom. You may not see how He is using you, but He is in fact using you.