There are many examples of bravery in the Bible. Esther. Moses. Ruth. Joseph. Rahab. Paul. The list goes on, and it’s tempting for me (as one who likes her checklists) to look at each example and attempt to create a bravery profile; gather up all the goodness from each valiant story and implement those traits into my moments. But the stories of Scripture are not meant to be prescriptive. They do not primarily point the way to become a better, braver person. These records of bold obedience are provided to show us to the real victor.
If we tried to analyze each brave soul and their actions, we’d drive ourselves crazy trying to find the correct action points. Almost every situation is set in a context we would never find ourselves. So, we must find the common denominator of the stories, keeping in mind the whole counsel of Scripture and its big-picture themes.
You and I have the benefit of viewing the deep and detailed landscape of Biblical history. With this hindsight, when we slow down and look carefully at the examples of obedient, brave men and women in Scripture, we see the calling of God into the unlikely. We can see this statement made—formed over centuries—through the lives He’s used to bring His will about: God calls unlikely man to be used for extraordinary feats.
Moving forward in bravery is a declaration that the difficulties we face are not about us; the mountains that need moving, the relationships that require reconciliation and the souls that need saving can be removed, repaired, and rescued by God alone. The Creator and Sustainer of all—the One who does not need assistance to bring His will to pass—choses to use unlikely souls and often unconventional means again and again so that all can see the that true rescuer, hero and victor is not us, but God.
Take Moses, for example. He was right to think he was a clumsy speaker—not the best pick for a job that would require eloquent communication as an advocate for God’s people—yet he was wrong to think this unlikely choice made him exempt from obeying. We too must be careful not to dismiss or shirk God’s unlikely plan for our lives, but instead walk forward in brave, obedient trust in the One who calls.
Though we can look back and see this thread throughout the stories of bravery in the Bible, we still have our own scary, uncertain situations God calls us into. We may be an unlikely candidate for the job, but we must obediently move forward. Following God’s will requires us to be brave. If we’re not scared to walk forward, if we’re certain of the outcome, and/or if the end result is predictable, God will not receive the glory. And His glory is why we exist.
When we stay in our safe space we rob our days of their purpose: to reflect the goodness and glory of our God to those who have yet to truly see it. So, the next time you’re called into something that seems unlikely, remember the records of the past and the results of their story: God exalted.
When have you been called to something that requires bravery lately? How have the examples of the past fueled your obedient bravery?
Published February 9, 2017