Courage doesn’t mean you won’t be a afraid but that you won’t allow your fear to overwhelm or overcome you.
Courage gives you the ability to face your fear, even though you may be afraid courage enables and equips you to carry on. Fear will keep you where you are, courage finds a way to move you out and move you on. So many people allow fear, doubt and unbelief to cripple them, they remain motionless, unable to move forward. Courage looks at the fear, feels the fear, senses the fear, and is even aware of the fear but courage moves you, courage compels you to move. Without courage that fear, that feeling of being afraid will keep you where you are routed in the same spot, never moving forward and never getting ahead.
Deuteronomy 31:6-8 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Courage isn’t having a lack of fear or not being afraid it is the ability to take that fear and face it head on. Yes you will be afraid but do not allow that fear to become a wall that hinders you from moving forward. Yes, you are going to be afraid, possibly even scared; it can either cripple you or empower you. Move past those feelings of fear. Why? Because as you pass fear you begin to realise how you didn’t need to be afraid in the first place. You realise that it wasn’t as scary or as bad as you thought.
One Summer I went to Edinburgh with my wife and we decided to visit a Scott’s monument. There were 287 steps that take you 200 feet high. I don’t like heights, in fact you could say I have a fear for heights, so, needless to say, I started feeling quite fearful (the staircase is also extremely narrow with windows on every level). The higher I went the harder it became but because I had courage I was able to get to the top and admire the wonderful view that is presented to you once you are there. Courage equips you to face your fear, to challenge that fear and to overcome that fear. It is through courage that you eventually get to see what was beyond the fear, for me it was that wonderful view. I have to admit each floor we reached presented me with another challenge and the fear sometimes felt overwhelming. Each step became harder and harder, the staircase got narrower with each turn but something compelled me, something gripped me that seemed to push me past all the negative feelings I was having. That thing was courage. If we are to ever see what God wants us to see, if we are ever going to get to the heights that God wants us to we are going to need courage.
The experience of being up so high and taking in such magnificent scenery outweighed the fear that I had felt and was still feeling. I would have missed out on all of this if I had allowed my fear to govern me but instead courage took over and I was able to climb to the top. I was able to see further simply because courage enabled me to climb to the top. I was able to take in my surroundings and see from a totally different perspective simply because I chose to not listen to fear. Don’t be limited by fear, don’t be controlled by fear, instead find courage to face your fear head on and know that beyond fear is an experience that is awaiting you that outweighs the initial feeling of fear. Nelson Mandela said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
At points in our lives we will all have a decision to make and that decision will be to listen to the voice of fear or not. Many of you have been afraid of obeying God, of stepping out of your current comfort zone. Maybe you are fearful because of what the future holds. Church fear is normal and in some cases even positive. But do not under any circumstances allow fear to dictate your life, to control your life, to cause you to make or not make certain decisions. Is it fear that is holding you back from serving God? Is it fear that is stopping you from witnessing to your friends? Is it fear that restrains from going all out for God? Don’t allow fear to keep you where you are. For you to experience all that God has for you to have a mountain top experience you have to have courage to face your valley. There were four levels as we walked up the 287 steps and each level presented me with a view. I could have been happy with, I could have stayed there taken pictures and walked down, and sometimes we have courage, but it’s only courage enough to go so far. Each level took me higher, but only the top would give me the entire perspective, only the top would allow me to experience what I was meant to experience walking up those stairs. Don’t sell yourself short simply because fear tells you that you’ve gone far enough, don’t allow fear to cause you to stop at the first floor when God has so much more for you to see.[spacer style=”1″]
Over to you
How has Pastor Leighton’s reflections on being courageous encouraged you? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.[spacer style=”1″]
Victory Over Myself – A Guide to Putting Me in My Rightful Place.
Authored by Leighton Ainsworth
Have you ever found yourself struggling to come to grips with what it actually means to deny yourself? Have you ever found it hard to take up your cross? As you read the pages of Victory Over Myself and immerse yourself in the scriptures that are found throughout, Pastor Leighton Ainsworth will guide you to be able to find the answers you seek.
For more information about this book and Pastor Leighton Ainsworth visit Tate Publishing [spacer style=”1″]