Courageous: 1. Brave. 2. Adventurous. 3. Bold. 4. Fearless. 5. Daring. 6. Not deterred by danger.
Surrender: 1. To cease to resist. 2. To yield.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
God will be with me. Wherever I go. Whether I turn to the right or to the left, my ears will hear a voice saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
Author Kay Warren calls saying ‘yes’ to God a form of “courageous surrender”.
I can relate to that. Every time I’ve said ‘yes’ to God, it’s taken a whole lot of courage. And a whole lot of surrender. It’s taken a whole lot of being undeterred by potential danger. And a whole lot of yielding to God. And trusting Him.
It hasn’t been easy.
I don’t normally think of myself in terms of being an especially courageous person. I wouldn’t consider myself to be brave. I don’t describe myself as adventurous. I don’t like dangerous situations. I’m not very bold or daring. And I’m certainly not fearless. You’ll never catch me parachuting from a plane, bungee jumping, jet boating or white water rafting. I’ll never dive or swim with sharks and you won’t catch me heli-skiing either. Even indoor rock climbing stretches the limits of my courage. I’m definitely a “feet on the ground” unadventurous (boring) kind of girl. (And I’m okay with that!)
But one thing I’ve learned in life is that being ‘courageous’ means so much more than having daring and adventurous extreme experiences.
It simply means choosing to say ‘yes’ to God. It means choosing not to let the first words of out my mouth be ‘no’.
- Saying ‘yes’ I’ll stay married for over 21 years. That takes courage.
- Saying ‘yes’ we’ll pioneer a new church. That took courage.
- Saying ‘yes’ I’ll return to full time study as a mature-aged student and become a nurse. That was a courageous choice.
- Saying ‘yes’ we will raise our four kids to love and serve God. That is courageous.
- Saying ‘yes’ I’ll try writing a blog and sharing my heart and life as transparently and honestly as I can. That requires courage.
- Saying ‘yes’ to God and walking away from ministry with no plans for the future. That was the most courageous decision ever.
For me, saying ‘yes’ to God is about hearing from Him and then being obedient, even though I sometimes (honestly) really just want to say ‘no’.
Thankfully, the Bible encourages me that wherever I go, God is with me. I don’t need to become strong and courageous. I already am. The moment I say ‘yes’ to God, His presence gives me the ability to be strong and courageous. The moment I say ‘yes’ and surrender to His will and plans for my life, then I become brave and bold. Fearless.
In the past when I found myself in situations where I wondered if God was paying any attention to me, He was with me all along. Whilst I often felt alone, neglected, rejected and even depressed, He was with me all along. There were long seasons where I didn’t ‘feel’ His presence, but He was with me all along. I turned both to the left and then to the right, but I couldn’t hear His voice telling me which way to turn. But He was still there. He was with me all along. Waiting for me to trust Him and just say ‘yes’.
As Lysa TerKeurst writes in her book What Happens When Women say Yes to God: “You don’t need perfect circumstances to be a women who says yes to God…You simply have to surrender all that’s clamoring for attention in your heart with the answer God is longing to hear spill from your lips, ‘yes, God’…We are often afraid to venture past our comfort zone (but) outside our comfort zone is where we experience the true awesomeness of God.”
If saying ‘yes’ to God means I will experience this awesomeness, then whatever God says do, I’ll do it. With courageous surrender.
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