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Workshop Wednesday (Week 4): Courage


Surrender


Surrendering our plans for God’s plans for our lives is not an easy task, but is necessary if we are going to experience the purposes God has for us. If our life’s mission was to bring glory to ourselves, surrender wouldn’t be necessary.


God uses surrendered people to achieve his victories, just like Queen Esther from the Bible. Through her choosing of surrender, God allowed her to not only witness an eternal, God-size victory, He gave her a leading role in it. How cool!


Our first response when asked to surrender is usually NOT an immediate “yes.” Even Esther was resistant when first asked by Mordecai to go to the king to plead for the saving of their people. Just as we weigh the costs of surrender, so did she. She knew going to the king without being called to do so was a death sentence. But God kept pursuing her, just like he keeps on pursuing us. He invites us, with arms wide-open, to be a part of His story, but we have to choose whether to accept or reject His invitation.


Risk


What if Esther chose not to take a risk? What if instead, she remained quiet? What then?

In verse fourteen, Mordecai tells Esther:


“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”


It is hard to know exactly what would have happened to Esther had she not taken a risk; only God holds the answer. But this I know - God would have saved His people with or without Esther. His purposes would not be thwarted (Job 42:2). Whether she risked or stayed silent, God would have still been victorious. His glory would still have been made great. God does not need us to carry out His plans here on earth, but He wants to include us. What a gracious Father we serve!


Please hear me friends: it is possible to miss opportunities to bring God glory if we are not willing to take risks. Taking risks for Kingdom purposes is hard, frightening, and yes, sometimes dangerous. But it is not nearly as difficult as having to later ask ourselves:


Did I miss out on something great?

Did I settle for ok instead of spectacular?

Was staying safe and comfortable worth it?

Did I miss out on opportunities to bring God glory?


Most of us aren’t going to have to risk our lives. Instead, we are going to have to take risks that may cause some discomfort, but are small in comparison to the joy we get to experience when we risk for Jesus.


Jesus is worth the risk!


So Why Be Courageous?


Why do you think Esther was able to surrender and risk? Although the passage does not tell us exactly why, it is unlikely she would have taken such a gamble if she didn’t trust the One she was risking for. Esther trusted in God and His plan so much so that she was willing to perish (v. 16). You and I serve the same God that Esther and Mordecai served, and He is just as trustworthy today as He was then.

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding”. Proverbs 3:5

We can’t rely on our own feelings or understanding when it comes to what God is asking us to do. We aren’t privileged in knowing all the details or the outcomes. Our job is to simply trust by walking hand-in-hand with Him in this journey, relying on Him to make the path clear. We cling to Him knowing He works all things together for those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28)


Go Deeper


1. Why is surrender difficult?


2. What are you afraid of losing?


3. Has there been a time in your life that you felt like you missed out on an opportunity to bring God glory because you weren’t willing to risk something? How did that make you feel?


4. What is God asking you to trust Him with? If you don’t know the answer yet, don’t worry. Just spend the next few minutes asking God to show you what it is.


Cheering you on!

Casey Rolape

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