“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
No More Fraidy Cats,
by Randall D. Kittle
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When I was a young boy, my favorite book was Fraidy Cat by Marjorie Barrows. This book tells the sad and frustrating story of a little black cat named Reginald Claudius Adolphus Van Bibber. Because he was afraid of almost everything, his “friends” simply called him Fraidy Cat. He was afraid of the dark … afraid of water … afraid of the steam coming from his porridge. Fraidy Cat was even afraid of a little lamb! The list of his phobias goes on and on.

Understandably concerned, his mother decides to send her son to see “wise old” Dr. Owl. After a few questions and a brief examination, Dr. Owl declares that all Fraidy Cat needs is a brave heart. The wise doctor pins a “brave heart” on Fraidy Cat to remind him that he is brave, and sends him home to do brave deeds along the way.

Realizing he’s been given a brave heart, Fraidy Cat accepts the challenge and confronts one fear after another, meeting each situation with bravery he never knew he possessed. By the time he gets home, his Mom is proud of him and his friends are no longer ashamed to play with him. They even have a new nickname for him — “Bill” (which certainly beats either Fraidy Cat or Reginald Claudius Adolphus Van Bibber).

As Christians today, are we in danger of setting this same “Fraidy Cat” image before a lost and dying world? Do those around us observe a confident Bride of Christ as we are faced with the daily ordeals of this life? Do they see the overcoming faith that we claim to have when persecution comes? Or do they see a mere shell of what we declare to be?

Too often we act like beaten kittens instead of the “conquerors in Christ” the Lord died to make us. When we act cowardly, we’ve forgotten that God has given us a new nature — His nature. At the center of every genuine Christian, there has occurred a heart-transformation from God that has made them a new creation. Like wise old Dr. Owl did for Fraidy Cat, God has already given us a new heart … a brave heart! He gave us a God-sized heart that can hate evil and love Him ferociously. He has placed His Spirit into us, a Spirit that says “No” to fear.

Courage comes not from pretending to be brave, but learning to be more reliant on the Spirit we’ve been given. Look at how Paul described the Holy Spirit:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7), and “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship” (Romans 8:15). The Spirit God gave us is a Spirit of power. Through His presence in our hearts, we can step out in faith and show courage in our world.

We belong to the Lion of the tribe of Judah. His very nature has been deposited within our hearts. Psalm 28:1 declares,
“The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” As the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, we should be regal and roaring. A lion without his roar is really nothing.

The Lion hasn’t lost His roar, and He lives in you and me, changing us from the inside out! As the song
Like a Lion says, “God’s … living on the inside, roaring like a lion.” He has given us the courage to have brave hearts and do brave deeds if we will simply let Him live His life through us. Since He has made us strong and courageous, let us go forth doing exploits for Him!

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