Courage in the Doing

As a little girl I went on a mission’s trip with my family to Israel. We spent time in the fields of Boaz and watched people get baptized in the Jordan River. It was surreal, and as an adult I wish I could almost re-live those moments and appreciate them just a little bit more.

However, there was one part of the trip that little Erika was not looking forward to…the Dead Sea. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that this sea was named “Dead” and what exactly happened to people who went in there?! I was terrified as I watched my dad swim in the Dead Sea, then call me to come in. There was absolutely no way I was going in there! Not a chance.

This past Sunday, Pastor Jason gave the illustration of our spiritual walk being more like the Jordan River than the Dead Sea. Why? Because we don’t want to stay in one place. We don’t want to be just hearers of the Word and not doers. God desires for us to not just read our Bible, but to listen and act on what it says.

There was one part of Sunday’s sermon that was particularly haunting to me. At the very end, Pastor Jason challenged us to be doers of the Word by choosing to use our words wisely and having self-control over our tongue. Ouch…conviction.

But the part that stayed with me during the drive home was this simple statement: “Our words can actually grieve the Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit has given me so much. He has empowered me when I didn’t know I could keep going. He has comforted me when I’ve watched people walk away from their faith. He has strengthened me when I thought all was lost. He held my hand as I faced crippling anxiety and said, “let’s try again.”

And here I am…grieving Him with my words. Oh, how that hurts.

When I was a little girl, the fear of death was what scared me the most. The concept of a “Dead Sea” was too hard to get out of my mind. But as an adult, I have different fears. I fear letting God down. I fear grieving His Spirit. I fear quenching His work in my life.

So, I walked away from this message convicted and sobered in more ways than one. But I remember one major key to living as a doer—to be motivated by love. God knows my heart. He knows I love Him. And just like He gave Peter three chances to say, “I love you, Lord,” He has given each of us the same. Do you love Him? He knows. Now it’s time to be a doer.

So, I run to Him with full abandon. And I take up His charge to listen and obey. Because in the doing, that’s where the blessing comes. In the doing, that’s where I see His full purpose poured out. In the doing, I walk by faith, not by sight. In the doing, I let go of the fear of letting Him down, because I now walk with courage into the promises of God.
Erika Pizzo
Erika is the author of the blog where she encourages women to care for their mind, body, and spirit as they grow closer to Jesus. She also hosts the podcast “Temple Care” where she provides weekly messages of encouragement. Erika lives with her husband, daughter, son, and their fluffy poodle in sunny Southern California. Her two favorite things are a visit to the beach with a chai latte in hand.