For the next several weeks, leading up to the late April release of my first book, I am posting some excerpts from each chapter. All the proceeds from this book go to support the Dream Centers we are opening here in Colorado Springs. If you want, you can Pre-Order Fear No Evil here.
This is from Chapter 4, where I describe the unbelievable Wednesday night gathering at New Life Church after the shooting the previous Sunday.
After the great Old Testament leader Moses died, his aide Joshua was tapped by God to take the reins and lead the Israelites across the Jordan River. And as God commissioned Joshua for this new role, he told him not once, not twice, but three times to “be strong and courageous.” “Be strong and courageous,” he says in Joshua 1:6. “Be strong and very courageous,”7 he says one verse later. And then, in case Joshua missed the first two installments, verse nine reads this way: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Based on the tenor in the room that Wednesday night, I could tell that the people of New Life knew what I firmly believed to be true: This was our Joshua moment. Sunday had threatened to rob us of our peace, our solidarity, and our faith. But on Wednesday night, we would say, “No.”
On Wednesday, we would choose to claim not fear, but courage—to live, to love, to engage.
At any given time, courage either is entering into you or departing from you. It’s always doing one or the other; it is not static. When you’re discouraged—when courage drips its way out of you like water from a leaky hose—nothing you do seems worthwhile. Every molehill shows up as a mountain, and every dilemma is a debilitating crisis just waiting to take you down. All that is negative in life is amplified, and whatever good exists fades to gray.
But when you’re encouraged—when courage is coming in—you feel like you can do just about anything in God’s name and will experience a fair measure of success. You charge hell with a water pistol and serve like your hair is on fire, not knowing what else to do with your massive influx of holy audacity.