Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Awhile back, I was at a public pool and an amazing scene of courage played out right before me. It was a group of elementary school age boys, all gathered around the steps to the high dive. They were all excited, but apprehensive to take the stairs and face the dare and dread of jumping off the high dive. The first to go seemed to have confidence of one much older than himself and swaggered up the steps as looked and waved to a group of girls all sitting on the pool deck with their feet playfully dangling in the water. They were all smiling and exchanging glances with one particular girl in their little group. The brave boy reached the top, looked down at his mates, and with a nod to the girls took a bounce, launching himself into the air forming a perfect cannon ball tuck and made a huge splash to the delight of the girls. The next few guys took their turn, some trying to match the leader, some a bit more cautious, but all enjoying the thrill of the daring feat. One last boy was left. He was the most cautious. You could see in his face that he was fighting back fear. The leader of this band of brothers noticed the last boy’s apprehension, and leaving the group of girls that he had been talking with, went over to the last jumper. I am not sure what he said to him, but the hesitant boy looked more confident, almost every step the two made eye contact. Up on top of the diving board, the tentative boy did not look around but kept his eye on that other boy now walking away from the diving board so the one up top could see him. With an exchange of a smile and nod the boy took one last look and jumped!
I was impressed, not only with the last boy’s courage, but with whatever that other boy said to him that gave the other the courage to go on. It made me think about how much in life we feel like that kid at the bottom of the high dive. We don’t feel ________ enough. I’m sure, at one point in your life, you have put different things in that blank: I’m not talented enough, I’m not old/young enough, I’m not good/pure enough, I’m not confident enough, I’m not experienced enough, I’m not skilled enough. What’s in that blank today? Sure that little kid did not have the experience to be like the first guy, but the miracle of courage allowed him to enjoy the thrill of it all.
There are a number of biblical characters that seemed like that little boy at first. One was Moses. In Exodus 3:1-22 God called Moses to go to Egypt where he was banished as a murderer. God told Moses to tell the Pharaoh to let their slaves, Israel, go (not a real popular ask!). Moses is apprehensive:
Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Moses lacked the courage, but was clear that God would come along side him and would be with him (see Exodus 3:12). Moses chose courageous trust in God, stepped up to the challenge, and a nation was forever changed.
Joshua of the Bible also took a huge step of courage following in Moses’ footsteps to lead Israel. God challenged Joshua to step up in courage.
Joshua 1:6-7 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
The challenge to step up with courageous trust in God continues:
1 Chronicles 28:20 Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Psalms 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.
I am not sure what you are feeling “not enough” in, but listen to the truth of God that He is with you. Place your trust in Him and see the miracle of courage take you to new and exciting adventures. Sure, they will be scary, but God has His eyes on you.
Church is a great place to gain confidence in God. If you do not already have a church where you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need www.cypresschurch.net. We are continuing our teaching series called “Living Proof”, a biblical study of God’s miracles.
Seeking to have courageous trust in God together with you,