Have Courage Today – guest post for Lads to Leaders entry

Do you have courage?

When you think of Joshua, what kind of person do you think he was? When you think of David, who do you think he was? What about Moses? Peter, Paul, John, or Jesus? What is one character trait that every one of these men had?

They all had courage. More specifically, they had courage because God was on their side.

David told Goliath to his face that he would triumph because David had God on his side. 

1 Samuel 17:45“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 

We have God on our side too. There’s a song I like to listen to by Matthew West. It’s called Not Today, and the first verse and chorus read like this:

Yesterday, you came knockin’ at my door

Sellin’ me lies like every other time before

Can’t believe I let you in

Fallin’ for your tricks again

Yesterday your grip had me paralyzed

One foot in the grave, winner of a losin’ fight

You called me by my shame

Now, I know that’s not my name

I listened to you yesterday

Now, I need you to hear me say

Not today

The father of lies will not have his way

Yesterday, guilt had me diggin’ my own grave

Sin had the final say

But not today (not today, no)

No, not today (not today, no)

The first verse jumps right in, talking about the way Satan likes to trick us. He likes to make us think his side is better. Sometimes he succeeds, when we give in to temptation, even if we know we are wrong. The lyrics say “yesterday” I was in the wrong, but “Now, I need you to hear me say, Not Today.”

In the chorus of the song the artist says yesterday he was living in sin, but today he will not let himself stay in that place of darkness. 

The second verse (followed by the chorus) says:

The question is not, “Will I ever get knocked down?”

But, “Am I gonna let your games keep me on the ground?”

If you think I’m gonna just give in

If you think I’m gonna let you win

Well, not today

The second verse, while it is shorter than the first verse, is just as important. It is a self-empowerment of sorts. The artist is using this line as a mantra to help himself resist Satan’s temptations. Although we sin, we have to repent, learn, and get back up again.

Finally, the bridge of the song goes like this:

I’ve been bought by a price

All my sins washed away

If you come at me again

You’ll hear my defender say

Not today

 What was the price? The price was when Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins.

That had to take courage. Jesus prayed in the Garden, asking God to find a different way to fulfill His plan. When nothing changed, Jesus willingly went to the cross and gave up his life for us.

The washing away of our sins comes when we are baptized in His name. Once we are baptized, God is truly on our side forever. Even when we sin, Satan cannot keep a hold on us, because we are in God’s family.

Here are a few more verses where these writers demonstrated their courage and faith in God.

Psalm 23:4“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.”

2 Timothy 1:7“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

1 John 4:18“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Exodus 14:13“And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.”

When God is with us, we can have courage, just like Joshua and Jesus did. Choose to have courage today.

Do you have courage?

photography credit: Elizabeth Hooten

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