Can we be honest with each other? Because if we are being honest, I think we can admit that at one point or another we are all lacking courage. We lack the courage to do what is right, to speak the truth, to chase after a dream, etc.
Recently, a pastor at Sandal’s Church spoke about courage, specifically Godly Courage.
Reading a passage from the Bible, the pastor focused on Judges 3:12-30 which tells the story of how Ehud, an Israelite enslaved by the Moabites, rose up against his oppressors and led his people to freedom.
Judges 3:12-30 (NLT)
Ehud Becomes Israel’s Judge
12 Once again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil.. . . 14 And the Israelites served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.
15 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin. The Israelites sent Ehud to deliver their tribute money to King Eglon of Moab. 16 So Ehud made a double-edged dagger that was about a foot long, and he strapped it to his right thigh, keeping it hidden under his clothing. 17 He brought the tribute money to Eglon, who was very fat.
18 After delivering the payment, Ehud started home with those who had helped carry the tribute. 19 But when Ehud reached the stone idols near Gilgal, he turned back. He came to Eglon and said, “I have a secret message for you.”
So the king commanded his servants, “Be quiet!” and he sent them all out of the room.
20 Ehud walked over to Eglon, who was sitting alone in a cool upstairs room. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you!” As King Eglon rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled out the dagger strapped to his right thigh, and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 The dagger went so deep that the handle disappeared beneath the king’s fat. So Ehud did not pull out the dagger, and the king’s bowels emptied. 23 Then Ehud closed and locked the doors of the room and escaped down the latrine.24 After Ehud was gone, the king’s servants returned and found the doors to the upstairs room locked. They thought he might be using the latrine in the room, 25 so they waited. But when the king didn’t come out after a long delay, they became concerned and got a key. And when they opened the doors, they found their master dead on the floor.
26 While the servants were waiting, Ehud escaped, passing the stone idols on his way to Seirah. 27 When he arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, Ehud sounded a call to arms. Then he led a band of Israelites down from the hills.
28 “Follow me,” he said, “for the Lord has given you victory over Moab your enemy.” So they followed him. And the Israelites took control of the shallow crossings of the Jordan River across from Moab, preventing anyone from crossing.
29 They attacked the Moabites and killed about 10,000 of their strongest and most able-bodied warriors. Not one of them escaped. 30 So Moab was conquered by Israel that day, and there was peace in the land for eighty years.
From Ehud, we can learn a lot about Godly Courage. Here are some basic steps:
- To have courage at all, we must first turn to God. Think of Ehud. In the passage it says that Ehud was a left-handed man which is translated to mean that his right had was either damaged or bound, meaning he was most likely cripple in some way. His courage could not come from his own physical abilities, but instead it came from his faith in God.
- Next, we must prepare for action.Although Ehud did not know what he would do, he had prepared a dagger beforehand ready for anything.
- I Pete 1:13 says, “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control.”
- After turning to God and preparing, we must face our fears.Again, Ehud was only one man and when he first went before the king, he let his fear get the best of him and he left. However, it was after leaving the king that Ehud saw the stones of the idols and trusting in God, he prepared to face his fears.
- Courage is not the absence of fear but acting despite the presence of fear.
- Courage in not about personality, but it is about our purpose in serving God and being a difference maker for our generation.
- I Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” Isn’t it wonderful how everything comes back to love with God?
- Next, we must do what others won’t.Ehud was not the most skilled warrior, remember his bound-up right hand? However, he was willing to do what others would not because of his faith in God.
- James 2:18, “Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deads?’ I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” Indeed, our actions speak louder than words and reveal who we truly are.
- Lastly, we must lead with what God has given us.All of us struggle to find our way, to find our courage. All of us were given a specific purpose and sometimes it is hard to find that purpose. Whatever it is, God equips us with the necessary tools to get the job done.
What do you need to be courageous about this week?
***I am a Christian and a follower of Jesus, but I am in no ways an expert. I am always happy to discuss my faith with anyone who wants to have a genuine conversation, but I will never respond to hateful comments.***