Monday, March 16, 2015

Musings on Courage

Elisha stilled his fearful servant, saying, "Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." (2 Kings 6:16)

Courage – that quality of mind and heart that enables men to encounter danger and difficulty with determination. Courage is NOT the absence of fear – but the mastery of it. There are many calls to courage in God's Word:

Think of Paul, who told the young minister Timothy, “For God hath not given us a spirit of FEAR – but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.” Or John, who wrote, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them – because GREATER is HE that is in YOU than he that is in the world.” Or what about the words of Jesus, who said, “These things I have spoken unto you that in ME ye might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation – but be of good cheer – I have overcome the world.”

To Joshua, God said, “Be STRONG and of a GOOD COURAGE – be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is WITH THEE withersoever thou goest.”

And THEN we find our text. In a significant moment of courage, Elisha squares his shoulders against the armies of Syria, KNOWING that his servant, Gehazi, has his feet nailed to the floor in FEAR, and says, Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

This story illustrates why Elisha was so often called, “The man of God.” Under constant spiritual attack, he nevertheless remained steadfast in the power of God. This story is an outstanding example of how taking a stand for God MIGHT mean rejection, hostility, or even physical assault.

Elisha, blessed with the gift of heavenly foresight, exposed the plans of the Syrians to the King of Israel. With each plot to attack to attack Israel, Elisha prepared the King in advance… exposing the plans of the enemy with the help of God.

Deeply troubled, the Syrians began to suspect one of their OWN of treason – of selling secrets to the enemy. But his advisor explained, “Elisha, the prophet, who is IN Israel, tells the King of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”

Elisha, doing what any GOOD servant of God OUGHT to do – exposed the plans of the enemy – and as a result, became the target of the Syrian Army who would have him dead. That’s what happens when you take a stand for the Lord – rather than parades or praise – you become a target of the enemy, who will do everything in his power to destroy you and the people you love.

In SPITE of the threats of the enemy, the Bible teaches us to BE STRONG in the Lord. The secret to victory is NOT in your ability or cunning. The Battle is the Lord’s.

When the enemy attacks don’t worry about setting the record straight... keep doing right.  GOD will vindicate you. Be COURAGEOUS!