Friday, September 5, 2014

Sarah & Harriet’s Journey to Bravery

I shared this with my MOPS Group. I pray it encourages you! - Cintia

Being Brave is a journey and it is not as glamorous as it sounds. Today I want to tell you about Sarah and Harriet, two women who took this journey of bravery in very unique ways. My goal is to encourage you to look at your own life and recognize that God wants to be the Guide of your own journey to bravery. Let’s lay some Biblical foundation shall we? Our Bible verses for the year at MOPS International can be found in Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJV) which says: 

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” 

 To give you a bit of Biblical context, God is speaking through the prophet Isaiah to His people the Israelites. If you remember their story, they had been through trouble but also triumph. Slavery in Egypt as well as mighty deliverance from it. So when God says do not remember the former things, I believe He’s telling them forget the good and the bad because He will do a new thing (and His name is Jesus). It takes bravery to get to that “new thing.”

 Consider Sarah’s journey of bravery to her “new thing.” Sarah (Genesis 11:29-30), which is known as the mother of faith began her journey of bravery in a much different place. When her story is introduced in the Bible the first thing said about her, is her flaw. Sarah was barren. Friends it sucks when people know you not for who you are but for your issues. That’s where Sarah was when God came to Abraham and told him they would have a child. God changed her story and many generations later she is known for her faith and not her fears. Between the promise of Isaac and his birth, Sarah and Abraham made many mistakes which tells me so much about God: number one He is faithful to His word. If He promises something, regardless of our flaws and mistakes, He can accomplish it. It also tells me a lot about humanity. Sarah actually laughed at God because she didn’t believe that a 90-year-old could give birth to a child. Despite of her lack of faith God was faithful. Here’s how her story is beautifully described in Hebrews 11:11 

“By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” 

 In our journey to bravery we can count on God to be faithful, despite of our flaws, fears and doubts. God is faithful to His Word. Let’s consider Harriet’s journey to Bravery. Some of y’all are thinking, what Harriet? There’s no Harriet in the Bible and you are correct! I’m talking about civil rights activist Harriet Tubman. We all know that unfortunately in the mid 1800s in this country minorities were treated in inhumane, perverse ways. So Harriet, who was born a slave decided to escape that which was the law of this land. She found her inspiration in God and 165 years ago she escaped her plantation. I love her journey to bravery. She was convinced that freedom was her heritage and she walked around 100 miles to get there. There were dangers on the way but also a lot of provision which is now known as the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman is known as “Moses” because she led hundreds of others to freedom. Friend, I need to tell you that your journey to bravery is not about you but it is also about others who will be set free because of your story. 

When God gives us a promise, we might be like Harriet. We believe it and run towards it with all we have then we go back and rescue others who need to be free as we are. Some of us may also be like Sarah. God gives us a promise, we doubt it and despite of the time it takes to happen God is faithful. Regardless of how we come to God, He wants to be the Guide of our journey to Bravery. Now this is the point of the message where we get to take a look at ourselves and ask: how does this apply to me? 

God is in the update business my friends. He updated Sarah from barren to mother of faith (and of nations). He updated Harriet from powerless slave to a free civil rights activist. I know some of you are like: Cintia, I have all the children I can handle and according to the constitution of the United States I am free. Here’s another way to think about it. Usually, when something needs to be updated in your electronic devices, that certain software or app slows down. I love Instagram and I get mad when I can’t use it to its full capacity. When something slows down, long and behold there’s an Update coming. What God wants to update in your life is an area where things are slow and not working to its full capacity. It might be a relationship where forgiveness needs to take place. It might be your character. Some signs that God has an update for you might be that your life is displaying shame, guilt, anger ,a deep sadness or other things that only God knows about. My friend, I came to bring you good news and to tell you that God has an update for you and it is only through His son Jesus Christ that this is all possible. I believe Sarah’s bravery started where her shame and unbelief ended. Harriet’s bravery started with her acceptance of God’s plan for her life. 

When I look at this room I see what God sees: women who accepted God’s update and function in the abundant life Jesus died to give them. So, what does God want to update in your life my friend? Will you accept Him as your Guide?

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