Sunday, January 22, 2017

Courage for the Christian Life: A Collapse of Courage

A Collapse of Courage

by Dr. Charles Stanley
Viewed: 1/22/2107
In Touch Ministries

Courage"The quality of mind or spirit enabling us to meet danger, face opposition, or the challenges of life  with fearlessness, calmness and firmness."

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Numbers 13:1-2

1The lord now said to Moses, 2“Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.”

Numbers 13:18-20

 18See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. 19See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps? 20Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.” (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.)

Numbers 13:26-29 

26to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. 27This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! 29The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”

Numbers 13:30-33

30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”31But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” 32So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”

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Causes of a Courage Collapse

The Israelites came to the wrong conclusion for several reasons.

  • They forgot God’s promise. Although the Lord had promised to give them the land, the people let the negative reports overshadow and diminish what God had said.
  • They focused on their resources rather than the Lord’s. Looking at their own abilities, they saw no way to defeat the people of the land. But God has the power to do whatever is required to fulfill His promises whether we understand His ways or not.
  • They chose to listen to doubters rather than believers. When the people rejected the counsel of the two men who believed God would empower them to defeat their enemies, but instead listened to the spies who doubted Him, they made a disastrous decision. That’s why we should be careful about taking advice from those who don’t believe in the Lord’s power and promises in Scripture.
  • They left God out of the decision process. Even though Joshua and Caleb encouraged them to believe that the Lord could bring them into the land, the people didn’t even consider Him in their reasoning. We are often guilty of the same thing. Instead of seeking God’s will in the matter, we rely on information, opinions, and our own reasoning. Like the Israelites, we have the promise of His presence, power, and provision to enable us to accomplish whatever He calls us to do if we will only trust and obey Him.
  • They allowed negative reports to overshadow God’s promises. After hearing about all the obstacles that awaited them in the Promised Land, they didn’t remember all that God had done for them in the past. After being supernaturally rescued from Egypt and given divine provision in the wilderness, they had no legitimate reason for doubting that the Lord could bring them into the land. But they listened to men, not the Lord.
  • They forgot God’s previous promises and work in their lives. Instead of realizing that the Lord had brought them this far and would take them into the land, they wanted a new leader to take them back to Egypt. They refused to believe the Lord’s promise and trust Him to overcome their enemies. Any time we leave God out of the equation, we’re going to make foolish choices.

"God fulfills every promise he makes! If you leave God out of your decisions, you'll make foolish decisions." - Charles Stanley

Avoiding a Courage Collapse

Meditate on the Word of God: 

Meditation on God’s Word keeps us in line with His will. This includes reading the Scripture each day, talking to God, and bringing Him every issue that concerns us. The promises we need to strengthen our obedience are found in His Word. Scripture has the power to change our minds and attitudes from fear and uncertainty to confident courage. And it also reminds us that we are never alone if Jesus is our Savior. His Spirit lives within us, giving us guidance to know what to do and the power to accomplish it. When we trust the Lord and believe His promises, we have nothing to fear as we courageously move forward in obedience.

Just take the blessings God has for you! Don't doubt His voice!

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