“Be strong and courageous,” David said to his son Solomon. “Get to work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, because the LORD God, my God, is with you. He’ll neither let you down nor leave you before all the work for the service of the LORD’s temple is done." (1 Chronicles 28:20 CEB).Michael Catt challenges Christians (especially the men) to stand up for what they believe. Senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church and executive producer of the movies Fireproof and Courageous, Catt is bold and blunt in his call to live with courage. In the introduction, he says, "Today we need men with the hearts of a warrior... Men who won't turn back. We need men who stand up and take responsibility for their role as men."
Using quotes from the movie Courageous and anecdotal stories of great Christian heroes, Catt calls Christians to take a stand on a variety of issues. Through Abraham, we are challenged to have the courage to get going; through Ruth, we are challenged to have the courage to face an uncertain future; through Nehemiah, we are challenge to have the courage to face criticism. Throughout Scriptures, we see men and women who had the courage to do what God asked of them—to do what was required in their particular time, whether that was the darkness during the time of the Judges or the despair of the deportation to Assyria. Today, Catt says, we need men like that once again. Men who will stand up for God and make a difference in our world.
Most of us have found a comfortable faith. We might have been raised in the church or simply believe in God, but we might be shy about sharing those beliefs in certain circles. I've been guilty of that myself on this blog. Some of you might have been shocked by all the Scripture quoting I've done in the last few months. For a few years, I was in a dry place spiritually and it was easier to blog about things other than faith. Recently, thanks to books like this one and the Common English Bible, I've found a renewal of my spiritual life. Catt's book rang a chord in my heart. It's easy to look around at our world and to gripe about the things that we don't like, but it takes courage to do something to change those things.
Catt says, "This is no time to stand still or hesitate when there is so much to be done. We will find courage in the Word of God and the will of God. Living the courageous life is being willing to pray, 'Not my will but God's be done.'"
Catt mentions Courageous Living is his fourth book in three years and sometimes, his writing seemed scattered. He jumped around between points and ideas. Other times, I got annoyed by what seemed like name-dropping. Overall, though, he presents a message that churches across North America need to hear. Like the men in the movie Courageous, we need to stand up for our faith and our families.
"Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled. So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about the Lord or of me, his prisoner. Instead, share the suffering for the good news, depending on God’s power" (2 Timothy 1:6-8 CEB).