Unleash Your Brave

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


Once upon a time my husband and youngest daughter rescued a bull mastiff from the animal shelter. Freddie was ginormous and untamed. It took just one week of destruction to insist that horse of a dog attend doggie school, which he did. And although Freddie continued to wreak havoc on the backyard, he served and protected his family. 

One summer Freddie was roughhousing on the deck with his dog friends when his foot hung between the planks. That horseplay cost us a pretty penny and required we restrict his movements for the next two months. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to contain a rambunctious one-hundred and twenty pound bull mastiff for eight weeks. He was to be housed in a kennel or leashed outside. 

Freddie would rattle the behemoth crate with repetitive boom-boom-booms! There was no end to the whining and howling on the leash. It was painful to watch. Never, not for one minute, did Freddie get comfortable being confined to his restrictions. He was made for something completely different. 

Freddie’s misery reminded me of God’s design. He creates with a purpose-- designed for you and for me. But like Freddie, many of us stop short of seeing these through because we are, in a sense, “leashed.”

  • Maybe we have confined ourselves by choosing not to pursue God’s desires for our lives
  • Maybe we are discouraged and can’t take another step
  • Maybe we are overwhelmed with pain or responsibilities we did not sign up for
  • Maybe other opportunities have just sucked the desire for God out of us, or
  • Maybe it’s laziness. We’re not sure how we got here but we know it’s not where you want to be.

You and I can feel restricted as if something is keeping us from moving onto the next thing with God. It’s like you are in a holding pattern of timidity, weakness, or angst. But God never intended us to live this way. 

Instead, He calls us beyond timidity, past fearfully stopping short, being overwhelmed with life, or wallowing in failure. Not only does He beckon us to something opposed to these predicaments, He teaches us how to live courageously for His glory and our good. 

Give it five days. Come along with me as we look intently at this calling through the eyes of James, the half-brother of Jesus, at how to strategically unleash your brave.