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04 March 2020
The Courage to Grow - Rev. Kola Ewuosho

To grow in any area, we need to recognise where we are in that area. God designed us with potential in all aspects of our nature. Our bodies have the potential to be fitter, stronger and more flexible. How we turn out is determined by the choices we make. There are principles involved in the development of muscles, speed and fitness in the natural body. Our minds also have the potential to grow, expand and develop the capacity to think, imagine and follow through in its thought patterns. The potential in our mind is almost limitless.

Our spirits also have loads of potential. We can function in spiritual things to the extent which we develop our spirit"s capacities. In the light of these, self-growth demands from us a series of things to know: how best can I use my time, my mind and my other faculties to achieve worthwhile goals? How can I harness my energy to become more productive in life? What nature have I inherited and how can I manage it for my good? Self-growth goes hand in hand with self-management. Self-denial is a fundamental part of self-growth. It"s like the pruning that takes place before properly designed growth happens to plants. When Jesus said we should deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Him, I found out those are the best instructions we can get to help us deal with the sin nature resident in our flesh that tries to influence how we conduct self. Really, there is rebellion against God in our human nature, we want to do our own thing and sin in us is a sure destroyer of anything we build in our lives. Remember Satan has allies in our flesh (sinful nature resident in the flesh as a result of the fall of man) and in the systems of the world (the world"s system is built on the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life). These two allies give him a head start in his ability to control the human race. Then his cohorts (demons and demonically infected humans) are at his beck and call. When we decide to follow Jesus, He wants to show us how to destroy the works of the devil so he tells us to deny ourselves (shut down the works of the flesh), take up our crosses (shut down the world"s influence), and as we follow Him in this way he will show us how to destroy the works of the enemy. I can now apply myself to growth in all areas of my life. I can maximize my potential in every aspect of my life. I need to learn to plan, manage my time, set goals and utilise my mentor(s).

COURAGE is the ability to keep on going even when there is fear and uncertainty inside and around us. Many things in life place a demand on our courage if we are going to make much difference in our lives. Courage to confront yourself: your weaknesses, fears and insecurities. It takes a lot of courage to laugh at and with yourself. It takes courage to make the right decisions in life. Immediate gratification or looking for the easy way out has informed how many make decisions. The right decisions usually come with a price tag. Most of the time Satan puts pressure on us with afflictions or persecutions and his goal is primarily at our decisions. If we go the easy way out we decide for death not life in God. It takes courage to lead! Generating the right influence in the lives of the people around us demands that we should be doing what is right and not be “Mr. situational ethics”. The power to lead is the power to mislead. The power to mislead is the power to destroy. Our lives need to be governed by a set of values, ethics and principles based on the unchanging realities of God"s Word.

Obedience to God takes a lot of courage. God told Joshua to be very strong and courageous to be able to carry out His assignment for the young man as he takes the responsibility to lead God"s people after the death of Moses. There is usually an element of risk in facing the future courageously. Having courage is facing the reality that life is a risky business. At personal, corporate or family levels, risks are involved in living successfully. In fulfilling our God given assignments, we face risky situations too! So we need faith in God and His Word; we need the wisdom of God; we need to build trusted relationships around us; we need to face life fearlessly.

What if you fail? Failure is just a junction in the journey of life, get up and go on. What if the project fails? You would have learnt some lessons for the next project. What if people fail you? Well the lessons will include avoiding bitterness; rather become better by understanding that “the best of men are men at best” and humans fail. When you prepare for the worst and expect the best, you have begun to learn courage. Let God take the center stage of your life and live from His perspectives and watch how much of His grace, wisdom and favor will be upon your life! Amen!!!