28 May

Our Pastor is starting a new series and a guest speaker kicked it off. It is called doors. It was awesome and really spoke to me. This message was preached by Troy Maxwell and our pastor, Dennis Rouse, wrote his own notes on the sermon.

DOORS: Courage
This weekend, I was pleased to have my good friend, Pastor Troy Maxwell, bring the opening message of our new series, DOORS. He had some great points, so let me recap his message here.

Life is full of doors – doors that influence us. Doors are points of entry, access points to something in our life. They can also be an exit point. Yes, there are physical doors – those we walk through every day. But there are also spiritual doors such as the door of our heart, as in Revelation 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and knock…”; relational doors, such as marriage – moving us from independence to interdependence; life-changing doors – like becoming a believer; and defining-moment doors – those moments in your life that define you, when everything changes – your perception, your hearing, your heart.

Doors can restrict you, like when you see a door that says, “DO NOT ENTER.” Doors can also restore you. Think of being alone with God behind the closed door of your prayer closet. And, doors can release you – into something new or out of the confinement of being alone or trapped. Life is full of doors.

Today, God is calling us to walk through the Door of Courage. Webster’s says that “courage is to act in accordance with one’s beliefs in spite of criticism, persecution and the possibility of failure.” Life throws seemingly insurmountable things at us constantly. It takes courage to go against them. Think about David facing Goliath, or Esther approaching the king unsummoned. It takes courage to stand in a pulpit and declare, “I have a dream…” as Martin Luther King Jr. did. It took courage to do what Joshua did, leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land.

In Joshua1:1-9, God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous. We can learn three things about courage from this exchange. First, courage is standing up in who you are. God wanted Joshua to stand up in who he was. He wants the same for us. Let go of the past and stand up in who God created you to be. God has called you to a job that only you can do, and there are people that you are supposed to lead into an inheritance. Someone is waiting on the other side of your obedience, so stand up and discover who you are. The more you have the courage to stand up in who you are the more God can use you.

Next, courage is standing for something. We have to stay focused. Too often, we have weak convictions about strong issues and strong convictions about weak issues. Will you fight for your conviction about the power of the blood of Jesus, or for your family, or for your witness? You see, courage is standing for Christ and your convictions when it’s not popular. We have to talk it, think it and do it so that our life becomes the message.

Finally, courage is standing through fear and discouragement. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the presence of God that overcomes and outlasts fear. Courage is knowing that God will be with you no matter what, that He will never leave you or forsake you. It’s okay to have fear, but it’s not okay to have that fear motivate you. Stand through the fear. Stand through the difficulty. God is there. He’s close. Trust that He knows what you’re going through, that He cares and that He is definitely at work.

Don’t let the enemy “dis your courage.” This is one of his greatest weapons. God has given us a much greater weapon to overcome discouragement. Isaiah says, “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Praise is powerful. It is the gate to God’s presence. When we focus on the greatness of God, our problems look so small. You can praise your way right through the door of courage. Today, I encourage you to decide that you’re going to allow God to take you through your fears and discouragement and walk through the door of courage!

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