Be Strong

I walked into church with the heaviness of this week’s circumstances. Circumstances that broke my heart and irritated old wounds.

This week hurt bad. I found myself battling thoughts such as, “Things aren’t changing. You aren’t changing,” “Who you think you are getting ordained as a teacher?” “What can you teach anyone?”

Moral Courage

Today’s message Sunday morning message was concerning sanctification and the working out of our salvation. As the pastor was reading a passage from 1 Peter chapter 1 and breaking down each element, one phrase stood out to me, verse 15, moral courage.


13 So prepare your minds for action, be completely sober [in spirit—steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], fix your hope completely on the grace [of God] that is coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 [Live] as obedient children [of God]; do not be conformed to the evil desires which governed you in your ignorance [before you knew the requirements and transforming power of the good news regarding salvation]. 15 But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your conduct [be set apart from the world by your godly character and moral courage];

It really does take courage to walk this walk. It takes courage to obey the Lord instead of following the habits of my “old man”. As he continued to preach, I looked up the words in the dictionary.

Moral – Of relating to or concerned with the principles of rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical

Courage – The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc; without fear, bravery.

Prepare your Mind

The scripture says in verse 13, prepare your mind for action … ( connection to the definition) so that I can have the quality of mind to enable me to face difficulty.

Armor

Unfortunately, I have habits, established long before I knew the requirements and the transforming power of the good news regarding salvation.

These habits were my armor. Avoidance, self-justification, people pleasing, etc. It is in moments like these I want to protect myself against rejection like I’ve learned to do. But I’m learning to lay down my armor piece by piece. If I know he is with me, guiding me, transforming me, I know I can continue the journey.

I literally wrote everything you just read up until this point, while listening to today’s sermon. And while the pastor’s message was more about various points concerning salvation, what I was receiving from the Lord was the word courage.

Confirmation

It’s what I needed to hear for today’s situation. And then it happened. God confirmed it all when the pastor concluded his message in Joshua 1:6-9.

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

That’s all I needed to hear to know he is with me. He is so intentional in how he speaks to me and guides me. It is in moments like this I feel so loved; so special.

So yes it has been a rough week. Yes, it made me question what I was doing in my walk. Yet I see God’s hand in my life and that changes everything.

It takes courage to obey the Lord. Thank you, Lord, for being my biggest source of encouragement.

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