Courage to keep standing
Have you been in that place where you feel like the enemy is tempting you to cross the line, to say the thing that is going to bring death, not life?
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit. Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
I’ve been there this week. It has taken every ounce of worship in my body to keep my focus on Jesus, and not let fear take hold and cause me to say something that would be destructive.
Every thought needing to be identified and categorised.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
Fear or faith? truth or lies? What are the promises God has spoken in the past? What does His word say? What do I know about God’s character? What is the long, very long, list of testimonies of all God has done for us?
It has literally felt like there was a battle going on in my mind. And it has been just a little bit exhausting! But because of who God is, there has been no choice but to stand firm and trust Him.
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT
Standing firm can be tough going. Thankfully God always goes before us, equipping us, if we remain teachable, with what we are going to need in the future.
Example … Two weeks ago I started listening to a podcast from the series – ‘Elevation with Steven Furtick’. However I only had time to listen to the first ten minutes or so. This week, in the midst of the mind battle, thanks to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I continued listening to the podcast. The title of the podcast? ‘I caught a thought.’ A good dose of God’s truth, helped me to keep standing firm.
And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!” John 16:33 TPT
There it is again, that word courageous. I wonder how many times it is written in the Bible. This week I needed courage to stand, to keep my mouth shut, to keep believing, to trust that God had a plan and it was unfolding even though I couldn’t see it.
Where does courage come from? From choosing to believe that God is God, and Jesus has conquered the world – no matter what we think, see or don’t see. Our courage comes from having confidence that God is good and He loves us.
Praise God, this week I was able to stand firm until the breakthrough came. However, an interesting thing happened after the breakthrough came. I was doing a task that should have only taken ten minutes, however due to a software issue an hour later the task still wasn’t completed. Frustration bubbled to the surface and out it came! How disappointed was I in myself, to have stood firm on the major thing all week and then be broken over the minor thing!
The lesson for me – when the breakthrough came, I should have stopped, taken time to give thanks to God, not only for the breakthrough, but for the strength He gave me to keep standing.
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 NLT
Pausing and giving thanks, possibly combined with a few minutes of worship, would have allowed me to process well, giving the Holy Spirit space to minister and dissipate the underlying frustration that was there, but had not surfaced prior to the breakthrough.
Thank you Jesus for who You are and what You did for us, giving us victory over sin and death. Thank you God that You are at work even when we can’t see it. Thank you that the confidence we have in You and Your ways, confidence that gives us courage to stand firm. Thank you that you are always going before us, equipping us and making a way. Forgive us for when we stray into fear, doubt and unbelief. Please help us to identify the thoughts that are not from You, taken them captive and replace them with Your truth. Please help us to always remain teachable, open to the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for Your love and desire to see us become all that You have called us to be. In Your Jesus Name, Amen.