What God asks us to do is not always easy. We have to assess the costs, prepare well and choose to face our fears. This is courage. If we want to move forward, we will need a good dose of it!
The most prominent passage in the Bible that speaks about courage is the direction given to Joshua by God (and repeated four times in the same chapter!). “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7 NKJV).
Whenever Joshua is told to have courage in the face of the task before him, we also find the advice to strengthen himself. Courage requires preparation. Engaging in a challenge without calculating the costs and without preparation is not courage, it is naivety. God wants us to be as simple as children when it comes to trusting Him, but when we have to do tasks or challenges, He wants His children to think and be wise. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it” (Luke 14:28 NKJV).
If you want a change in your social status, or something else, you will have to take steps. God will give you the direction that you will personally have to follow. He doesn’t want you to go into an adventure without thinking. The Holy Spirit is a wise architect and He will give you the precise plan and what it will cost you in time, money and criticism. To have courage is to understand everything the Holy Spirit reveals to you and to decide to trust Him and move forward in His plan.
There is also a difference between being courageous and being desperate. God does not want us to go in a random direction just because we are tired of our current situation. We must be at peace with our circumstances, we must have sufficient self-esteem so as not to despise the life that God has given us. We are His temple, after all, we must take care of it. Jesus told us that we should love our neighbor like ourselves. If we do not see ourselves as beloved children of God, how can we love our brothers and sisters in Christ?
Not all of our plans will be successful. God has promised to give us success in our endeavors when we follow His instruction manual (Joshua 1:8). He had nothing against our creativity, it is also one of His attributes, but when it comes to building the fundamental pillars of our life, it is better not to improvise and stick to God’s precepts.
So go ahead, enter a new season of your life. Go and conquer new territory. Go and reap the blessings that God has put before you. Speak, discuss, and plan each step closely with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to show you what it will cost you and fortify yourself accordingly. Will living together cost you your independence? Prepare for it. Will your actions attract criticism from your religious and legalistic entourage? Prepare for this. Will you have to say no to some people to have more time to advance in God’s plan? Think about it and choose to trust God. Go, and be courageous!