IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: BE COURAGEOUS AND LET’S PLAY THE MEN FOR OUR PEOPLE.
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.
“Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.”
2nd Samuel 10:12
In 2 Samuel 10 the king of the Ammonites has died and his son, Hanun, ruled in his place. David wanted to show kindness to Hanun so he sent his delegates to express consolation to the new king for the loss of his father. But Hanun was convinced by his princes that David’s intent was evil, so he humiliated the delegates and sent them away. David was very angry about this, and when the Ammonites heard about his anger, they sent for help to the Syrians to build an offensive against Israel. When David heard this he sent Joab and all the mighty men against the Ammonites.
As it developed, the Ammonites were arrayed at the walled city to protect it, the Syrians were gathered in the open field, and Joab, with the Israelites, were sandwiched in the middle.
So Joab took charge of one group of men and set himself against the Syrians, and the rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai, his brother, and set them against the Ammonites. In verses 11 and 12 Joab gives this great word of challenge and faith to Abishai, and it is my word to my IGBO brethrens and other Indigenous tribes in Nigeria who are facing the danger of corporate extinction being ochstrated by the caliphate and their jihadist army, represented by the FULANI HERDSMEN TERRORISTS, BOKOHARAM, ISWAP and other islamic militia groups.
“If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. Be of good courage, and let us play the man for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”
BE OF GOOD COURAGE!
“Courage is that virtue enabling us to act despite our fear and to do the right thing, to be ready even to fall in the battle. Courage does not make us suffer pointlessly, but for a great good we perceive through hope to be attainable.”
Courage is the virtue which adorns the irascible aspect of our souls – that fight or flight impulse in us when danger is upon us or when we see a good that is not easy to obtain. That impulse is given to us by God naturally to avoid pain and to preserve ourselves.
WHAT IS COURAGE AND WHAT MAKES A MAN?
When you look at what makes a man in our modern society today, it can be pretty discouraging. Men are judged by their physic, their physical form. Men are judged by their looks. Men are judged by their money, their possessions, their success, their job. But when it comes to the Word of God, really one thing defines manliness. There is a basic fundamental virtue of manliness. There is a trait that I think distinguishes a man most distinctively, the solitary foundation of manhood. And I want to sum it up in one word. It’s the word fortitude.
Webster’s dictionary says, “Fortitude is that strength or firmness of mind, courage of soul which enables a person to encounter danger with coolness, to bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression, or despondency.” And then we could sum that up by saying fortitude is courage built on strength of soul. Fortitude is a good word because it combines courage with strength, but it also has a third component and that is conviction. Fortitude is the combination of those three things: conviction, courage, and strength.
A man is basically a man when he stands on principle and has the courage to uphold that principle and the strength to sustain and attack against that principle, he has fortitude. It is the willingness, even the desire to face challenges, to attack difficulties, to bear adversity, and to do it triumphantly. Women, on the other hand, seek to be protected. They seek to be nourished and cherished, to borrow biblical words. They seek to be made secure. That’s natural for women. Men, on the other hand, are designed by God to be the protectors, to be the saviors, if you will, of their wives and families, to provide the security, to accomplish everything necessary to the well-being of the wife and children, all that is needed to provide the haven for the woman and the children. Manliness is really summed up with that notion of fortitude.
WHAT MAKES A MAN OF COURAGE?
“The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1
It is conviction, it is courage, and it is strength. But there’s one other thing that has to be added in the Christian environment, and that is truth. The convictions – the principles that form the convictions for us rise out of the Bible.
For a Christian man, he is a man of the Word who knows the truth, who has convictions about the truth, and that is they are non-negotiable and non-compromising convictions. And because of those convictions he is courageous to confront anything that assaults those truths, and he has the strength to withstand that confrontation. That’s manliness. Just in general, men were designed by God to be the protectors and the providers and the saviors and the deliverers and the securers of their wives and their children. True manliness is summed up in words like conviction, courage, and strength.
FOUR THINGS THAT MAKES A COURAGEOUS MAN
- Bravery in the face of danger.
- Steadfastness in the face of opposition.
- Action in the face of resistance.
- Optimism in the face of despair.
The first one says I won’t be afraid. The second one says I won’t give up. The third one says I won’t be intimidated. The fourth one says I won’t lose heart.
“Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the LORD do what is good in His sight.””
This is a great speech by Joab before the battle. He made at least three great points.
in the battle against the Syrians It is interesting to observe that in Joab’s arrangements he made no allowance for the possibility of ultimate defeat in his conflict with Ammon…
Let’s look at the three points that Joab made..
1.”Be of good courage, and let us be strong: Courage and strength are not matters of feeling and circumstance. They are matters of choice, especially when God makes His strength available to us. We can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).
- “Let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God:” Joab called them to remember all they had to lose. If they lost this battle they would lose both their people and their cities. This was a battle bigger than themselves, and the army of the mighty men had to remember that.
3.”And may the LORD do what is good in His sight:” Joab wisely prepared for the battle to the best of his ability and worked hard for the victory. At the same time, he knew that the outcome was ultimately in God’s hands.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
You ought to read your Bible sometime and count the number of times God says, “Fear not.” The people who count such things have counted the fear nots in the King James version of the Bible. They tell us that there are 365 fear nots, that is, there is one fear not for every day of the year.
I want to give you four steps to dealing with fear. These four steps will help you move from fear to faith, from cowardice to courage.
First and foremost:
REMEMBER YOUR POSITION!
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” The righteous are bold, not the wicked. The wicked are scared to death. The first step to courage is to remember who you are in Jesus Christ, to remember that in Christ you are strong, victorious, accepted, justified, redeemed, saved, and completely forgiven. Your sins are washed away. You are seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenlies. You are justified, therefore you are righteous. You were born for courage, not for fear. II Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, of power and of a sound mind. If you have a spirit of fear, timidity or anxiety, it didn’t come from God. God does not give to his people a spirit of fear.
You were born for courage, for bravery, for strength, to be an overcomer. God has given you his Spirit. You were not born to be a loser. You were born through Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit to be victorious over the problems, struggles and trials of life.
CONFRONT YOUR FEARS!
“The wicked flee when no man pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
The reason for terror is to paralyze their targeted audience with fear and we can see how the islamic jihadists are putting it to best use against the Indigenous tribes of Nigeria today.
You will be gripped with fear until you decide to confront it. Fear will win every day until you stand up, look that fear straight in the face, and say, “You are not going to win over me anymore. By the help of God and with the power of the Holy Spirit, I am going to win against you.” You will never win until you rise up and confront the thing that is dragging you down.
Courage is nothing more than seeing the fear and taking action against it. How many of you know the 95% Rule of Worry? It goes like this: 95% of the things you worry about won’t happen. Some of you may be surprised to know this, but I tend to be a worry-wort. At least once a week my wife will say, “Stop worrying about that. You’re worrying about something that is never going to happen, and even if it does happen, we’ll deal with it when it happens.”
God has given us a sound mind so that we can look at our problems. He’s given us power so we can overcome, and he’s given us love so we can respond in his character. There is no reason for a child of God to be gripped and destroyed by fear.
CENSOR YOUR INPUT
A healthy mind is absolutely essential to getting free from fear. The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” There is a negative side to this and a positive side. The negative side is that you have to cut the negative people out of your life, those who are dragging you down. You probably have people telling you that you can’t, it can’t be done, it won’t work. They tell kids you can study all you want, you can work as hard as you want, you still won’t make an A. You can save all the money you want, you still won’t buy that house. You can apply for that job, but will never make it. They are just a bunch of can’ts and ain’ts and naysayers who pull you down and feed your fears. Sensor your input so you’re not listening to people who are feeding your fears. The positive side is Romans 12:2. “Be not conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Colossians 3:2 tells us to set our mind on things above where Christ dwells with God in heaven. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”
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