Can I still follow God and not be courageous?


Can cowards still serve God?

Maybe you've thought about the question or maybe you haven't, but there was a moment in my life when the question bugged me. Personally, I don't really see myself to be a coward. I love risks and I can get pretty hooked on taking them, but the thought of God refusing to use me if I weren't this way has crossed my mind.

Let's face reality. Not everyone was born to be a risk-taker and not everyone is as fearless as daredevils. Some will refuse to ride roller coasters, hate the idea of bungee jumping, and cower at the thought of starting a business venture. But does that mean that God won't use them?

The biggest misunderstanding about courage and God's will is that God calls us to a virtue that we can gain by our own strength. We think that just because we were born without the fear of certain things, that we're ready for anything God throws our way. That's what I was convinced of, until God called me to something that really shook me to the bone - full time ministry.

When God called me to vocational ministry, I was a businessman and a really successful one. The thought of closing down my business scared me. All that hard work and all the uncertainty not having the income I used to earn felt like a giant shouting and mocking me. I said "no" many times, saying "Lord, I don't have the courage to do this." But then God changed my perspective when He told me, "If you obey, I'll give you the courage."

So many people think that courage is something they work for on their own, but it is not. Just like anything else in this world, it is a gift freely given by God now made available because of what Jesus is for us and to us. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

When we walk in God's power and in the Holy Spirit that is now made available to us through Christ, it's almost given that God will grant you the courage of heart to face your giants. We think of David and imagine a young boy who came out of his mother's womb with a sling and a killer instinct. That's not really the case.

When we serve God it is almost a given that we will be filled with His courage. Saying that courage comes with calling is like saying that we get wet when we run in the rain without an umbrella.

When God calls us to courage, He doesn't leave us to scamper around and gather as much bravery as we can and then go face a challenge all by ourselves. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Our courage comes not because of who we are, but because we know who is with us. Our courage comes from God.