Opulent Elevation:  The Place Where Peace Begets Courage | Northlands Church

Opulent Elevation:  The Place Where Peace Begets Courage

by: Kristine Wendt

Courage doesn’t come first, but challenge does. And what if courage is different than we have often thought? What if it’s better?

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

Courage is often seen as the barometer of doing something we haven’t done before with a high level of panache. When we don’t know what to do, we fix our eyes on Him (Psalm 121:1-2, 2 Chronicles 20:12) and go forth into expanse ahead of us.
Courage doesn’t come first. The challenge comes first. And usually when a challenge interrupts life, confusion rears its head until our spirit’s sort out the information before us. Confusion is of a lesser kingdom, and is always silenced by peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).
This summoning of courage happens when we go into a vast high school from the halls of middle school; or even when we set our feet on the acreage of a college campus, or as we watch our children grow out of our home that has been their nest. It happens when we start new jobs, begin parenting, move to new houses, new states or even new countries; and even as we launch new relationships or ministries.
But what if courage is different than that? What if courage isn’t measured by a moment? What if courage isn’t an activation or an act in a circumstance, but rather is a soundness of mind, as if a state of existence that our mind rests upon? What if a calling for courage is actually a calling up (a reminder) of a settled state of mind (mental fortitude), rather than a calling out for an action or activity?

A barometer reads the atmospheric pressure of an environment; it reads the weight of the air on top of the thing itself. Let’s say we’re measuring the atmospheric pressure around you: The higher you go up, the less the pressure is because there is less atmosphere above you.
As heirs of the kingdom of heaven and adopted sons and daughters, we are seated in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6-7) and have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The atmospheric pressure we gauge is one of heaven. That’s an opulent elevation! As followers of Christ under the Lordship of Holy Spirit, we don’t assess or assume pressure, but Presence and Promise. Barometer readings of our lives start there and the kingdom pushes out the worldly pressures we sense as they arise.

And what if… what if courage is only needed when we lack peace in our souls? When our minds are choosing lesser thinkings than the upstairs, heavenly thinking is when we have a felt need for courage. For example, if we are unsure of the change Father is suggesting, when we are uncertain about the direction or looking ahead and seeing lack, then our souls hunger for the manna of courage. When God is in his rightful place and we are in ours, we are at peace and have no need for a reminder of courage. When we are seeing Him rightly, living in His Presence, from His promises and following Him fully, with His perspective in hand, courage is a non-need within us. In these places, our minds are steadfast, settled, and fixed.
Peace begets courage. Courage and peace are for me not for the circumstance. They gracefully attend to my personhood, not the situation at hand. Peace is a Person and that person relieves pressure every time with the reality of His Presence. Peace nor courage have to war or contend because they have nothing to prove. Peace is not a loud authority but with certain fortitude. Courage and peace have ebullient and contagious natures that lead us forward in Him.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

Prayer

Father, thank you so much for placing me up high with you, thanks be to Christ. Thank you for the gift of courage because of the auspiciousness of peace. Thank you for each season that you hold and guide me. I am listening for the message of more that you have to reveal to me here. Amen.


© 2016 Northlands Church and Kristine Wendt. Permission to share so long as credit is given.