Last night, a couple hundred guys (by my estimate) gathered at a local church for the COURAGE Men’s Event. Jonathan Holcomb, Associate Campus Pastor of LifeGroups and LifeMissions at the LifeChurch OKC Campus (fit that on a business card), shared a message about courage using Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14 as an example. Here’s a brief summary from the mental notes I took:
When we think of a courageous person, we typically default to someone who served in the military or put their life on the line as a police office or firefighter. No doubt those are courageous roles, but when we accept that alone as the definition of courageous, we falsely deny that we have ample opportunities to be courageous ourselves. Of the various definitions you’ll find for “courage”, the general description is taking a step of action in which you face danger or overcome fear to do so. I could spend the rest of this post on examples but here are a few life applications:
– Overcoming the fear of what people will think or say about you when you boldly proclaim and live out the Gospel
– Spontaneous giving to the point that will put you in financial uncertainty
– Quitting your job to start your own business
Jonathan (not Holcomb) Attacks the Philistines
For the sake of clarity, I’m going to refer to Jonathan Holcomb as “Holcomb” and Jonathan from the Bible as Jonathan. Alright then…
The key verses Holcomb used to reference a portrayal of courage in the Bible is 1 Samuel 14:6-7. It’s important to read the scripture leading up to these verses to understand the context of the story taking place, but in attacking the Philistines there were 3 keys Jonathan did (or didn’t) do:
1) He didn’t pray – Wait…what? That’s a good thing? It’s comically ironic (and he acknowledged it) that Holcomb said this given his church just started a series of message on Prayer. But he’s right. Sometimes we default to “I need to pray about it” when God has already called you to something. Jonathan knew he had the power of God in him and knew that he should be the aggressor and take on the Philistines.
2) Jonathan didn’t know what was going to happen – Oh boy. (One of man’s worst enemines…The Unknown! Scripture says “perhaps” the Lord will act on their behalf. He knew what he was called to do and did it, even though he didn’t know the outcome. It would have been understandable had he been fearful but he either overcame the fear or overcame Satan’s temptation to make him fearful.
3) He didn’t attack alone – God didn’t design us to go at life alone. He sent the disciples out in pairs. Iron sharpens iron. A critical core value of TrueNorth Ministries is the power of sharing our stories with transparency and authenticity. Trey Dixon, TrueNorth Executive Director, spoke last night as well and did exactly that. When we share our weaknesses and downfalls, other men build us up and it encourages men to recognize the power in their own story. He encouraged us to take a courageous step, which is different for all of us. Trey said this about Jesus calling fishermen to be his disciples:
“Jesus didn’t bless their talents. He blessed their willingness.”
God has called you to be part of a community with men. You don’t need to pray about whether or not to seek it out. Don’t know where to start? Check out the TrueNorth Men’s Groups. That is your next step. Now, for extra motivation (and entertainment)…