July 6 – Scared Courage

2 Kings 9-11

Has God ever asked you to do anything really scary? Maybe change careers, confront a loved one about sin in their life, talk to your  neighbor about Jesus? It’s ok to be afraid – as long as you obey.

Someone has said courage is fear in action. It is not absence of fear.

Elisha asked a young man to go to Jehu, anoint him king over Israel, then flee. That sounds like a dangerous mission to me. King Joram and King Ahaziah were both firmly established as kings of Judah and Israel at the time. What Elisha asked his servant to do was treason. It could cost him his life.

The young man demonstrated courage by obeying. But I have to confess I had a laugh-outloud moment when I read about it in chapter 9.

The servant approached Jehu who was sitting with his buddies. “Can I talk to you privately?” the servant asked. Jehu might have rolled his eyes, and gave his pals a quick smirk. But he went with the servant into the house. The servant poured oil on Jehu’s head, then told him what God had said to Elisha about Jehu becoming King of Israel. Then, and this is what made me laugh, the servant turned tail and ran out of the house, leaving an oily and surprised Jehu in his wake.

I pictured someone opening a door a crack to throw a bone to a snarling, barking doberman, then slamming the door shut as fast as they can, and running away.

Actually, the servant had reason to get out of there as fast as he could. What he had just done was really, really scary.

That’s what God asks of us. We don’t have to conquer our fear before we do what God has laid on our hearts. We just need to give that fear to God – and obey. God will give us the courage exactly when we need it, if we but trust Him. He will go with us, give us words to say, and get the job done, even if our knees are weak and our hands are shaking.

You might want to put on your running shoes. God has something for you to do today.

 

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