Courage is contagious; it begets courage. Cowardice is equally contagious; it begets cowardice. Caleb’s testimony in Joshua 14:8 speaks of this. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
The cowardly testimony of the 10 spies melted the heart of the people. Caleb however along with Joshua maintained a tenacious trust which resulted in strength of heart-courage. If we trust God and His word we will have strength of heart. If we live in unbelief and listen to the culture or the crowd our heart will melt. Hushai gave counsel to Absalom about not pursuing after King David. He spoke of men who were valiant and had hearts of lions (II Samuel 17:10). We need men who will have hearts of lions in these days. We need men who are valiant for truth (Jeremiah 9:3). We need men who will not let their heart melt at the slightest noise of the battle.
Leaders for Christ must be courageous. NT Church members must be courageous. We live in the last days and perilous times have been here since the times of Christ. These last months we have witnessed drastic changes in our culture. Viruses have altered the economy. People are living in fear. Violence seems to define the cities within our culture. Churches are closing or keeping their doors closed. We need men of spiritual courage who will go forward and not backward. Cowards in the camp of Israel failed to believe God and go into the Promised Land. They would rather go backwards and be comfortable rather than move forward by faith.
What are some marks of lion-hearted courage:
- Courage to be Converted: Matthew 18:3; John 3:16
It takes courage to admit that you are a sinner before a holy God and that you are lost because of your sin. Sin separates us from God and will ultimately damn us to hell if we do not receive the good news of the gospel. Every man must personally repent and believe upon Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. Ye must be born again. The greatest step of courage is to come to Jesus Christ and to be saved.
- Courage to Comply to the Word of God: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1
It take courage to be a man of the Word of God. We must have a daily relationship with the word of God and let it dwell in our hearts to bring about growth and change. Is God’s Word changing me? Am I sharing God’s Word with my family? Christians are to obey God and His Word not what the culture tells them. NT Believers must not cave into the attack against believers and NT churches to not comply to the Word of God completely.
- Courage to Complete the will of God: Colossians 4:12; II Timothy 4:7
It takes courage to surrender our lives to the Lord and to live no longer the rest of our time to our lusts, but to the will of God. God has a specific will for our lives; it takes courage to seek it out and to perform it completely.
- Courage to not Compromise: Joshua 1:7; Proverbs 4:26-27; Joshua 23:6-8
It takes courage to not give in to the culture around us. It take courage not to give into pressure put upon you from your friends and family. Cowards compromise their said convictions. If you ever believed it from God’s Word, don’t waffle and waver. Just because it is popular or the church down the road is doing it, does not make it right.
- Courage to Command my family: Genesis 18:19
It take courage to assume the God-given leadership in your home and to charge your family in the ways of the Lord and to lead by example. This is what we are called to do as fathers. Sadly many fathers do not actively disciple their children; they fail to train them in the way that they ought to go. It is sad to see many fathers being led by their families rather than leading their families in the ways of the Lord. Lot was led around while Abram led his family after the Lord. The results are staggering.
- Courage to not Conform to the world: Romans 12:1-2; James 4:4
It takes courage to not love the world, to not make alliances with the world. Our hearts should be set upon loving the Lord and fulfilling His will rather than our own hearts desires or to be caught into the trap of pride in seeking acceptance or popularity in the world. As men we must guard our own hearts, homes, and local churches from worldliness which so easily creeps in.
- Courage to Combat temptation and sin: James 1:13-16; I Corinthians 10:12-13
It take courage to say no to the temptation that will come our way. Satan will use the world to appeal to our lusts and we must look for the way of escape. We all have the sin nature and unique lusts which we must deny. We must daily be on guard for the attacks of the Tempter. We are not safe from his wiles even within the confines of our own home.
- Courage to Confess sin: Psalm 51; I John 1:9
It take courage to be humble and honest before the Lord that we have sinned against Him and others. God is holy and any action that misses His mark of perfection is sin. When we do sin we must not be tempted to cover our sin for then we will not prosper. We must confess or agree with God about what it is and seek for the cleansing from the blood of Christ.
- Courage to Confront sin: Joshua 7:19; Proverbs 27:5; James 5:19-20
It takes courage to confront a person who is living in sin. It is easier to avoid it and pass it off to another. We must not procrastinate but we must fulfill our one another responsibilities to others in our church body and even our own families who are walking disorderly. We are to admonish them as brethren.
- Courage to be Controlled by the Spirit: Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18
It take courage to say no to the old flesh and its desires and to submit ourselves to the Spirit of God and His convicting and prompting. The Spirit of God desires to lead the believer’s life and we must not grieve or quench His working. The Spirit of God is our source for spiritual power; let us not cut ourselves off by walking contrary to Him.
- Courage to have a Captivated thought life: II Corinthians 10:3-5
It take courage to have our minds controlled by the Word of God. Every thought in my mind must be evaluated by the Word of God. Every ungodly thought must be brought down. Every pattern of thinking or thought process must be submitted to Christ. A courageous man has his thought life under control.
- Courage to Communicate Christ to the world: II Corinthians 5:20; Romans 1:16
It takes courage to open my mouth and tell others of Jesus Christ. We are called to with all boldness open our mouths and share the message of Christ with the world around us. How many times we live as a coward and fail to speak anything of the gospel and of Christ?
- C0urage to Carry myself as a pilgrim: Philippians 3:20-21; Hebrews 11:13-16
It take courage to confess that I am only a pilgrim down here. Just like I am only tenting upon this mountain, so I am only tenting upon this earth. My real home is in Heaven. I must so live then with an eternal focus and not get so caught up in the temporal pursuits of this life. Let us then lay-up treasure in Heaven and look for the imminent return of Jesus Christ for His Saints.