7/24/13

Go Be Brave!

I encouraged a friend recently with my new mantra:  "Go Be Brave!"
Let me explain how that mantra surfaced.

Everyone knows life's uncertainties can keep us confused and perhaps cowering. We grow frustrated and afraid.

Think about it:

  • Listen to the news or read daily headlines and sense the tension and chaos in our age. 
  • Read books and blog posts about foolish financial choices, government scandals, abortion, sexual trafficking, immorality and unethical decisions in every area of the culture, and you might say, "Has the world gone mad?"
  • Listen to what most college students espouse - the anti-God philosophies being taught in the average university - and you'll wonder where reason and sanity have gone. 
  • Evaluate the nation's homes and grieve over the mixed-up roles and lack of love.
  • Listen to many of the sermons in America's churches and be shocked that we have so far wandered from the truth of scripture.
In the beginning, God told Adam and Eve to "subdue the earth" (Genesis 1:28) - the first mandate. God wanted mankind to rule over the earth - good rulership and good stewardship - doing what is right for the world as we serve Him.

I think that is still the mandate for the Christian. We can be part of managing God's world and all who live here, and people do not have to agree with us for us to do the Lord's work. We can love, serve, encourage, teach, admonish, counsel ... any number of things to honor God and accomplish His purposes.

But we cannot do this if we sit in our homes, afraid.

It's true, some "uncertainties" are realities, and we need to keep these realities in mind as we consider what God might have us do.

We know that:
  • life is short (a vapor, James 4:14)
  • death is certain (Hebrews 9:27)
  • riches are fleeting (Proverbs 23:5)
  • friends might prove unfaithful (John 16:32)
  • popularity withers (1 Peter 1:24)  
  • beauty fades (Psalm 39:11)
  • we can't count on our government's promises or leaders' expertise (Psalm 146:3)
  • and we're not promised tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1) - except for the Christian hope of heaven.

The only thing that matters is God and what He has planned for us - what He wants us to do, things that count for eternity (God and His Word and the forever-souls of men). These have got to be our priorities, because they are His priorities.  

We need to speak, teach and promote God's truth. We need to seek the souls who are wandering without Him.

I've discovered:
It's easy to stand back and complain. It's harder to stand up and act. It's easy to scoff at Satan's strategies. It's harder to expose the enemy's lies and speak up for the truth of a biblical worldview. It's easy to blast others for their sin. It's harder to see them with the Father's eyes and love them with the Savior's love. It's easy to offer excuses for why we can't get involved. It's harder to offer practical help that makes a difference. 

God may call some to a large platform, a big pulpit. He may call others to pray, write or serve in relative obscurity. But He does call.

Whatever our calling, we must pray for backbone to not only recognize the darkness, not only stand against the lies, but also charge forward armed with the armor of God, taking back ground from the enemy.

The call will look different for every person. It might be as simple as taking a bag of groceries to a hurting family that looks and acts much different from you. It might mean selling some of your material goods to offer money to a ministry dealing with sexual trafficking. Or volunteering at a care center to help troubled pregnant teens. Or teaching a class of refugees English so they can read God's
Word. Or teaching a class of inner-city kids who don't have a clue about ethics or morality. Or learning to how to give a reasoned answer to skeptics.

The important thing is to answer God's call with faith and courage. It's YOUR call.

God has already called us to serve Him and subdue the earth. If we know the truth that sets people free, what's holding us back?

Don't be afraid of criticism. As author Andy Andrews said, "Those who are critical of my goals and dreams simply do not understand the higher purpose to which I have been called." The same might be said of those who criticize our stand for truth.

So as I wrote earlier, my new mantra for women is, "Go Be Brave!" And that's what I'd say to you today if you shared your concerns for the culture, the church or your family with me ... or if you shared your dreams.



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