Give Thanks a Challenge
Weekend Devo — Be Strong and Courageous

Courage.... In Church????

From Monday’s Post: I should tell you that my own story of stepping up my courage began today (Sunday). I went out for an early morning run before church and as I was listening to my ishuffle I heard God whisper to me, “Lynn, you step out and be brave for me. You do one thing that scares you today.”

Whoa. I hate it when God says stuff like that. Can anyone relate?

Well within a couple of hours I knew the moment when God was calling me to put my courage up for a test. And, wow, it was completely unexpected……


Football season is over. Well almost. This Sunday is Superbowl Sunday and even though the Broncos were annihilated by the Patriots, I will still watch the game. However, I will likely be cheering for the other team, any other team but the Patriots (Sorry Pat’s fans. I’m still sporting a grudge).  At this point, it’s all about the commercials anyway. *grin*

But since the playoffs ended, my husband went to church with my daughter and me on Sunday. First time in a long time. Can I tell you that I felt stress on Saturday night about even asking him if he wanted to go? I went through what many of you go through. Do I ask? How do I ask? Should I even mention it? How should I pray about it? Sheesh.

Well I mentioned church to my man and received the typical noncommittal response. So Sunday morning arrived and while out on my early jog, I prayed the Holy Spirit would overwhelm my husband and wake him up. Have any of you ever done that? I hope I’m not alone in asking for divine intervention into my husband’s sleep. Sheesh, this sounds bad doesn’t it?

Well miracle of miracles. At exactly 9 a.m. Sunday, both my husband and daughter (night owls) both woke on their own and shuffled into the kitchen. Woo Hoo. I think I need to pray like that every Sunday morning.

Later, the three of us sat down together in church. Ahhh, all was right with the world.

Or not.

Okay, let me set the stage for what happened next. Now I don’t know where you stand in the whole area of hand raising during church worship but for me this is a relatively new thing. For all of you who bust a move and fling arms around, forgive me. I’m still getting used to it all. However, in the last several months, I have been known to fling not just one arm in the air in worship but two. Be patient with us Californians. We are a bit behind the whole worship with hand waving and such.

I now LOVE to worship with my hands raised. Okay, with that said, I’m usually more restrained around my husband if he attends church. But today with the music crescendo I heard God say, “Okay Lynn, are you going to be courageous now?”


Yep, I knew what that meant. I’d freely worshiped God with my hands in the air before today but was I going to do the same with MY HUSBAND SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO ME?

This is not a big deal to many, but to me the implications are vast and lasting. If I do this, will my husband become so uncomfortable that he won’t return to church? Will he mock me at some point in the future? Will he walk out? Will he think I’m an idiot? Will he turn red. Will I turn red?

Good grief.

But somewhere inside my soul rose up the assurance that God had this moment in His hand. All I needed was a tiny ounce of courage. One hand slipped up. The music filled my soul and then the other rose. In full worship, with my hands lifted toward the Living God of the Universe, I stood next to my pre-believer. He didn’t freak out. He didn’t leave. He didn’t tease me. In fact, I think he kinda knew I just couldn’t help myself.

As I sat down I heard God’s still small voice whisper to me, “Don’t worry about your husband Lynn. I’ve got him. But as for you, well done my brave daughter. Well done.”

Okay, raised hands in church may seem minor but my friends it’s one new brave step at a time that we travel this journey toward heaven and live in victory.

Pray with me:

Oh Father,

There is so much You want to pour into our lives. We live so small at times when You are desperate for us to live large, amazing and thrilling lives. Help us to overcome our fear to experience life to the fullest. Show us where we need to take one step in courage. Show us where to do the right thing. Teach us how to step away from what is easy so that we may reflect your power and grace. Lord, lead us this very hour to decide to do one thing for Your Kingdom today that scares us.

Fill us with your holy power, your Spirit and your wisdom. Let us walk out our faith in front of our spouse, our kids and a world that is desperate to see someone who is brave enough to be different. Brave enough to share the healing name of Jesus. In His life-changing name, Jesus. Amen.

Audacious Hugs, Lynn 

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