Courage

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Courage.  You can’t lead and win without it.  Finnish drivers lead the world in rally car victories, and they do it with with a culture of driving courage. In Finland, they teach their drivers “sisu.”  Sisu is the Finnish word for “courage,” but its nuances are deeper than our English word can convey.  Sisu means something deeper than basic courage.  Sisu means courage-wisdom-skill, and the ability to face fear to accomplish task at a higher level.  The question is: What task do you face that requires “sisu” to overcome and succeed?

People of faith and desire for victory know that leadership is full of the need for sisu.  We have to face our fears and proceed in faith that God will accomplish more than we ever dreamed possible, and not hold back in a tough turn life throws at us.  We need courage.

Eph. 3:20 tell us that when we operate in our Spirit empowered calling in Christ, God will be able to do more than we can even imagine if we have the courage, or “sisu” to trust Him through every challenging twist of the race.

We need to drive on the road of life with courage.  As a rally car driver faces a turn, he doesn’t just “slow down” but faces the corner with sisu.  That means braking just right, getting the right gear, and accelerating through the turn to maximize the hitting of the apex to perfectly follow through with speed, even in the face of the fear of crashing.  Drivers need courage to face the challenge of the corners and keep the most momentum through them.  Life is full of twists and turns on rough roads that appear dangerous.  Christians need the courage of the Spirit to move forward with maximum momentum and not lose heart.   Today I’m sure you faced some rough turns, and we know many are yet ahead of us in the race of life.  Let’s cultivate a culture of courage and get a little more “sisu” in the Spirit!   God will provide and give us the ability to face the turns for the advance of His Kingdom.

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Resting in God Alone

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Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.  Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.  (Psa 62:1 NIV)

Does my soul find rest?

If you’re anything like me these words have always sounded nice, but what does this actually look like? The picture David gives is one of finding rest in a unique place of safety, a “rock” or “fortress.” In Israel these kinds of places can be found on mountain tops, caves, and high rock formations. The problem is that in order to use these safe-houses you have to go up. The picture is going up to God spiritually and resting in Him alone, just the way one would go up to the fortress and stay there for safety from their enemies.

In all honesty, our biggest problem is that we do not go up, rather we stay down.  We stay down in all sorts of ways.  It is easier that way, but it really isn’t safe and it certainly doesn’t offer us any added security.  In order to have a soul that waits or finds rest in God we have to go to God, alone.  Staying down and trying to fight our battles alone simply will not do.  We often try to find help not in God alone but in something else, or we try to add a bit of God at the ground level or on the side.  We must leave behind our own sources of help and go to God alone.   Spiritually we need to go up to God and enter into His presence and wait.

The key is that in Christ we actually have access to God’s throne 24/7 but we must spiritually avail ourselves to Him.  We must spiritually enter God’s presence and allow Him to be our rock and fortress.  My desire is that we would hear the hope offered to us in Ps. 62 and respond by going up to God.

 

Connecting the Dots… One Step of Faith at a Time

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This week we looked at the book of Ruth. In it we discovered that Ruth came to the end of herself and her plan, and at the same time took a step of faith and trusted God and His plan (1:16-17). God called her to take one step at a time and trust Him with the big picture, like a dot-to-dot. She couldn’t see the whole picture but only the next dot…

The life of faith is really this way: we trust God each step of the way and put one foot in front of the other, daily, as we see God’s plan unfolding before us. We can’t see the whole picture but, like Ruth, God has a plan to save us, provide for us, and to bring about a much bigger picture of His help than we could ever imagine.

 

How could Ruth know that if she just got up, worked hard, and left the rest to God, He would bring her a husband and children? (2:2-3)

How could Ruth know that she would be the great grandmother of King David? (4:17)

How could Ruth know that her faith and just walking a dot-to-dot life would ultimately lead to the picture of Jesus, the King of Kings!

 

Ruth really isn’t any different from you and me. We are just call to live our lives dot-to-dot. We aren’t called to figure it all out… just take the next step in faith and see what picture God paints in His plan. It is always bigger and richer than we ever dreamed…

 

What’s your next step? What’s your next dot? Take that step in the assurance that God has a big and beautiful picture for you that will ultimately bless others as well!