I am watching Braveheart as I type this. Yeah, I have a.d.d., but I write because ironically what has saturated my prayers lately is literally the title of this movie, “God give me a brave heart.” I think often what stands in the way of absolutely everything of what I really want is that while I can love, even love Jesus from time to time, and have intentions as pure as the night sky on the clearest night, fear holds me in shackles.
Depressing, because the life I could have if I had no fear, but even more depressing because fear holds me in a prison that has a two way mirror, where you can almost see the life you desire right in front of your eyes or what you can imagine. It’s a common sickness that doesn’t escape any of us. Maybe some of us have some good days, but most of live in void of bravery.
But maybe, just maybe if God would make us brave, if we would be willing to carry our crosses, and follow him, they way He intended maybe we’d finally be free. Free to tell the truth, to follow the dreams of how we were wired to dream, to put in action the passion that we were instilled with instead of making more excuses.
I could even use a little bravery to be a Christian these days. Ironically not in the old fashioned ways of being bold about your faith, but more to be bold with religious folks. Honestly in this time and age of social media that we live in, it’s exposed an obvious flaw, that legalism and religiosity is alive and well…and it’s ugly and fierce and poisonous.
I remember once when I had sinned. When I had really blown it as a follower of Jesus. I had this thought. What if no one would know I was a Christian..what if no one would ever think that I was a Christian…what if everyone forever and ever just looked at my Christian resume and think that I was a disgusting human being who deserved to be called a Christian because my sins were so grievous?
The answer I felt on that day, can also be found in the gospel of Jesus: exactly.
The title of Christian, the adoption into God’s family, the love and grace that Abba father freely gives, the proof of God’s unconditional love found in the subtitutionary death of Jesus on Calvary is all given, not earned.
The challenging word, I felt I heard from God that day was him asking me…”Would you really follow me, love me, and be mine even if no other man or woman ever thought you were a Christian?”
I made a decision that day. My answer to God was yes. Jesus saved me long before that day, but something changed that day. My heart grew a little stronger, it grew a little braver.
As I’m wrapping this post up, the movie is finishing up, and I can’t help but think of what Jesus said, as I watch the visual of william wallace being executed on a cross like structure. Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If you really want to come after me you must deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow me.”
God make me brave. Help me follow you, and leave myself behind. This may be me my only hope for bravery, if I’m not part of the equation.
I love you Jesus. Boldy, at least in this moment.
David Leo Schultz