“If you will go where you’ve never gone before, you will see God like you’ve never seen him before.” ― Annie F. Downs, Let's All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have
One of the biggest things God is teaching me about in this season is bravery. One of my mentors gave me the phrase “Be Brave” as a mantra for my year, and those words seem to be following me around. I have a keychain with them on it, I have them pinned to a bulletin board in my room, even the random wifi password assigned by my cable company has the word “brave” in it.
It’s safe to say that I knew bravery would be a big deal this year. I think a small part of my heart hoped God would just teach me about bravery rather than ask me to actually be brave, but He quickly showed me that the only way to learn bravery is to take brave steps. So for the past several months, decision by decision, He has been coaxing me into a place of deeper trust in Him and proving Himself worthy of that trust. In this place, I have to rely on Him fully to give me a future, satisfy my dreams, and provide for my needs.
God began building a foundation of trust and bravery in me that He knew I would need later. Recently, someone very close to me began to experience a deep struggle, one that I have absolutely no control over. It often brings me to the point of tears and has stirred up fears in me that I didn’t know I had. I don’t know about you, but it is so much easier for me to trust God with my future and the things I need than it is to trust Him with my people. Do I believe He is powerful enough to make the path straight for my life? Sure. Do I believe His power can bring breakthrough when a person I love is experiencing so much darkness? I don’t know.
It’s with that situation that my year of being brave took on a whole new meaning. I don’t know all of what God is doing, but I do know that He has called me to pray and intercede for this person, going to battle against the enemy and the work he is trying to do in their life. This means fighting for this person harder than I’ve ever fought for anyone and being more aware of what the enemy wants to do than I ever have been. That’s scary, and it’s confronted me with questions like “What if God isn’t actually big enough for this?” or “What if His power isn’t strong enough to intervene?”
When we’re up against things and our minds start to ask those questions, we’ve lost sight of who we are and who God is. Instead, we’ve chosen to focus on the object of our fear, in my case, what will happen if the enemy has his way. When we do that, we’ve started to accept defeat in a battle God has already won for us! Knowing God and receiving His love means we get to stand in the victory He has claimed. Amanda Cook’s song “You Make Me Brave” comes to mind here. His love crashes over us in wave after wave, which enables us to be brave, so brave that “no fear can hinder now the love that made a way.”
In Deuteronomy 31:23, The Lord is commissioning Joshua and says “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you.” There is grace over us to go bravely into places we’ve never gone before because we know we are headed into the Promised Land. God’s promise is to be with us in times of struggle. He will not forsake us as we fight for ourselves and for the ones we love.
In spite of my fears, I am choosing each day to be brave. I pray bravely, fight bravely, and love bravely, and the coolest thing is that I have seen God do so much that I had never seen Him do. He is increasing the giftings He has placed within me, He has given me a much greater awareness of His Holy Spirit, and He has made Himself more real to me than I’ve ever felt Him before. I believe He is honoring my bravery and prayers by moving in the situation I am asking Him to move in. I have seen little glimpses of it already, and I have faith that He will respond to my every prayer by leading me into the Promised Land, which means freedom for the person I’m fighting for.
If God is calling you to be brave in this season, put on the armor of God and fight. Ephesians 6:16-17 says “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Let this be your anchor. Faith, salvation, the Holy Spirit, and the word of God are all you need to be brave.
Lord, I pray that you would increase our faith in your power. When we are faced with daunting situations, would you convince us of your strength and fill us with the bravery to boldly move forward. Show us what it means to trust you with everything in our lives, even the things closest to our hearts. I pray that we would keep our eyes fixed on who you are and that no distraction from the enemy would enter into our thoughts. We believe that you will come through. Amen.
Author | Kalli Drake