Friday, November 28, 2014

Extended Courage, 5: Step Out

“Go in the strength that is yours…” This would be God’s response to the excuses Gideon had to offer. There was a strength within Gideon that had been placed there by God. The time of hiding was over. The time of seeing himself through the limitation of his own eyes was over. The time for excuses was over. Now was the time to step out and “go.”

God will give us the extended courage to leave the familiar area of comfort and to step out into the unknown. We may not always know what awaits us. We like to have all the schedules prepared, know when and where everything is going to happen. Anything out of the ordinary threatens are sense of control, yet God has called us to step out. Be courageous. Step out into the unknown. For most of us, even being on this team is stepping out into the unknown. Trust God and continue to depend on Him for courage.

Extended Reading Option: Joshua 1:9

Extended Journal Option: Describe ways that you can apply courage in overcoming the regrets of yesterday and the uncertainty of tomorrow? Is this something you have to do alone? Who has God placed in your life to help you?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Extended Courage, 4: Stop the Excuses

“Gideon said to Him… ‘Look at me. My clan's the weakest in Manasseh and I'm the runt of the litter.’” Several times over Gideon countered the call of God with an excuse. Gideon’s insecurities, regrets, and fears tried to explain why God couldn’t possibly use someone like him. No matter how hard he tried, his excuses were never strong enough to overwrite the will and plans of God. No more excuses, Gideon had to either choose or refuse.

We use excuses for the same reasons as Gideon. We fear failure. We compare ourselves to other people who we think are better able. We afraid to stand out, to be the center of attention, and then falling under the pressure. When God calls, it’s because He not only has a plan, but has the supernatural ability to see the conclusion of that plan. If He has called us to do something, it’s because He can see the success at the end of the story. Stop making excuses for why you can’t do what’s before you. Trust God for the courage and the faith to see it through.

Extended Reading Option: Jeremiah 1:7-8

Extended Journal Option: What excuses have come to your mind about serving on this team? How have excuses slowed you down from seeing God do what He wants to do in your life? What can you do to overcome the power of excuses?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Extended Courage, 3: Look Past the Past

“But God faced him directly…” Gideon was quick to turn and focus on where they had been, but God was ready focus on where they were heading. Gideon continued to voice one excuse after another, mostly having to do with what was, and with what he couldn’t change. But God faced him directly.

We must look forward and at God directly. What He wants to do for us is not in our past. It’s not behind us, but right in front of us. We need to realize and accept that His eyes are not lasers that are ready to slice right through us. They are eyes that pierce us, but so that they can communicate a love and purpose. Let God’s eyes of love remind you that you are still worth something valuable. Let them remind you that you are His son or daughter. You do matter. You do have a purpose. You can…and will make a difference.

Extended Reading Option: Philippians 3:13-14

Extended Journal Option: What part of your past keeps holding you back? What is the most difficult part of moving past the past?