Journeying through this life with God is definitely an incredible adventure. From my personal experience, I can absolutely testify that He takes me from glory to glory but usually that new level of glory doesn’t come without courage. Looking back at my personal growth with the Lord, I see how far he’s brought me out from the pit of destruction all the way to placing my feet on solid ground. I can rest assured in knowing that the Holy Spirit is even more committed to my sanctification than I am. The only challenge with the process is that we are only sanctified to the degree we surrender and say “yes” to the Lord in facing our fears and sins. This requires incredible courage.
As I mature in the Lord, I find that there’s always deeper healing and more freedom to be had. Fears I thought I had dealt with are exposed as the Lord very gently yet very deliberately brings them to the light. For example, I had a very chaotic and tumultuous upbringing. Ever since I can remember, I was driven by fear. If I was given a responsibility, I carried it out in the fear of thinking that if I failed to carry it out, I’d get severely punished. Because I had lived with this fear almost my entire life, I had come to be very comfortable with the feeling of fear and anxiety. I was almost deceived to the point that it was normal and that without it I’d even be unproductive. I’d give excuses saying that I loved working under pressure. But as I grew in the Lord and started experiencing longer and longer spurts of freedom, I learned to discern these feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety and rightfully began to HATE them. Once you get a taste of freedom, there’s no turning back. I am entirely committed to facing all of my fears so that I can go back to my originally-designed state of freedom. One fear I still struggle with is the fear of man. Many people think i’m bold and that these fears no longer have any effect on me, but that is far from the truth. Although I desperately try to anchor myself in my true identity in Christ, I continue to realize new remnants of my troublesome past. At times, it can manifest in an unhealthy desire to please others or even in feeling that i have no voice. It is then that the Lord reminds me that we are not meant to act from a place of anxiety or fear. We are meant to act from a place of peace and rest! Our inheritance is unlimited joy, freedom, and every good gift from our Heavenly Father!
Kris Vallotton very wisely says, “Courage does not mean you don’t have feelings of fear. We all can have feelings of fear. Courage is rather not making decisions based on those feelings but based on the truth of God regardless of how you feel.” Courage is something that God places in our hearts. Without God and community, it is impossible to do anything we are remotely scared of. When we are in fellowship with Christ, He strengthens us and encourages us to keep pressing in because there will be breakthrough! Just the same, when we are in fellowship with each other, we encourage or inject courage into each other so that we can keep pressing in on our journey no matter how hard the enemy fights us or how much he tries to DIScourage us. He is out to search, kill, and destroy everything that is made in the likeness of God. He knows that God’s children are made in His image and inherit everything He has. The enemy also knows that the time of his reign on earth is limited so he tries to steal our courage in everything we do. Unfortunately, he has succeeded in discouraging many good Christians away from their godly callings and divine paths. But if there is one thing I know, it is that God is infinitely greater and stronger than absolutely anything Satan or any of his minions can throw at us! As long as we have breath, there will be grace and redemption. That is the God we believe in. He is so beautiful and easy to love because He always works for the good of those who love Him.
As we continue on this journey, let’s remember who our real enemy is. If we are to have success as the body of Christ, we must not get caught up in jealously, comparison, lust, or pride. Rather, we must love and encourage one another in unity. This will allow us to flourish as individuals and as a corporate body of Christ. We will be able to bring the best versions of ourselves for His Kingdom and for His glory.