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6 September 2019

Courageous heart

Ben Thomas 2019 Ben Thomas Director of Operations
Praise and Prayer Week September 2019 - banner

Risk management is the centre ground of my operational role – thinking through all the worst-case scenarios and asking what steps we can take to mitigate them – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I actually enjoy it! Sitting in my office writing policies and thinking through risk free ways to operate, is my safe space!

In the last 6 months or so, God has been challenging me deeply about Godly ambition and boldness for the gospel. Don’t worry, this isn’t the moment I suggest we abandon wisdom, risk management or good governance - but there is something God honouring about a desire to push forward and take new ground for His glory.

As we consider our heroes of the faith in the Bible, more often than not they walked a path of obedience despite what their natural minds might have suggested – despite the fears, risks or challenges. They lived courageous lives, because of God’s Spirit in them and their faith in Him. Consider Caleb and Joshua:

They gave Moses this account: ‘We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.’… Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’’
(Numbers 13:27-28, 30)

It’s easy to find reasons not to do things, easy to find excuses – especially when we use our earthly eyes. But Joshua and Caleb stood strong and encouraged the people to enter the land despite the peril that faced them. The other spies stirred up the people to the point they were keen to return to Egypt, and the people listened and suffered as a result. It’s hard to be obedient to the call of God on our lives, when it requires doing something different - it takes courage, it takes Godly ambition and a dependence on Him, in recognition that if He says go, He’ll be there too!

If we are going to reach wider together in mission we need courageous hearts, hearts strengthened in the knowledge of God and hungry for His glory. When God speaks in the next chapter He makes the difference between Caleb and the other spies plain:

‘But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.’
(Numbers 14:24)

I want to have the same spirit as Caleb; I want to follow God wholeheartedly. Will you join me in praying today that God would:

  • Open our eyes afresh to who He is and what He is capable of
  • Give us courageous obedient hearts that pursue Him and His glory wholeheartedly
  • Help us to be wise and ambitious for the advancement of the gospel
  • Deliver us from our fears and help us to see excuses for what they are 

As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it." 
(Genesis 9:7)

Categories

City, East, Prayer

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