Dorothy is a girl who lives in a farmhouse in Kansas with her Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, and little dog Toto. One day the farmhouse, with Dorothy and Toto inside, is caught up in a tornado and deposited in a field in the Land of the Munchkins in the Land of Oz. The falling house kills the ruler of the Munchkins, the Wicked Witch of the East.
The Good Witch of the North comes with the Munchkins to greet Dorothy and gives Dorothy the Silver Shoes that the Wicked Witch of the East had been wearing when she was killed. In order to return to Kansas, the Good Witch of the North tells Dorothy that she will have to go to the "Emerald City" or "City of Emeralds" and ask the Wizard of Oz to help her.
On her way down the road paved with yellow brick, Dorothy frees the Scarecrow from the pole he is hanging on, restores the movements of the rusted Tin Woodman with an oil can, and encourages them and the Cowardly Lion to journey with her and Toto to the Emerald City. The Scarecrow wants to get a brain, the Tin Woodman a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, courage. All are convinced by Dorothy that the Wizard can help them too. Together, they overcome obstacles on the way including narrow pieces of the yellow brick road, Kalidahs, a river, and the Deadly Poppies. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz)
Like many of us life has thrown Dorothy a tragedy and continues to throw them at her as she journeys to the Emerald City to see the Wizard in order to get help. Dorothy ventures off with courage doing what is right in order to come that much closer to the one who is in power. In this story it is the Wizard.
Along the way Dorothy picks up a few friends. As they journey together toward the Emerald City all searching for something that has been missing in their lives they encourage and support each other overcoming the adversity that they face due to their circumstances.
What these travelers find on their journey is trickery and evil. Even upon the arrival to the Emerald City and the attempt to meet with the Wizard the Wizard tries to evade them. Yet another mishap reveals to them that the Wizard is himself a person not a powerful being that can solve their problems.
Through this journey they learn several important things. They learn that it is easier to journey when you have a support group to help you get through the tough times. They learn that no one can give them a brain, a heart or courage. They already have these things inside them they must just choose to believe. They also learn power does not come from man and man alone cannot fill your emptiness. Dorothy, the scarecrow, the tin man and the cowardly lion had the courage to keep going in order to find the ultimate prize.
Are you on your journey to find the ultimate prize? We as believers are offered the ultimate prize. We can have the milk and honey that God promises. We can enter into the Promiseland. It is there for us.
Courage is not being fearless. Life is full of fearful events and happenings. Courage is the attitude of facing anything recognized as dangerous difficult, or painful instead of withdrawing from it. Courage is not the absence of fear it is the will to move forward in spite of it.
God promises us in Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
When you fear rejection, financial troubles, job loss, not being worthy, tribulations, broken relationships, know that the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever.
8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
When you have the courage to take up the Cross and follow Jesus He promises to go before you. 2 Timothy 1:7 God has not given us spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind.
The Lord led the Israelites on a journey through the wilderness to take them to the Promiseland. Each destiny on this journey had a purpose. The purpose was to reveal Himself in a mighty way so they would know that he was with them always and He was the all powerful. Their job was to believe fearlessly without questioning and complaining and focus their thoughts on their destiny….the Promiseland. The purpose of the wilderness journey was to align their hearts with His plan. They travelled in fear often wondering where their food was coming from, where they would get water, how they would get away from Pharaoh when all there was the Red Sea in front of them. It took COURAGE to believe that Yahweh would deliver them.
Following the Lord and laying all down to embrace something new the Lord wants to do takes COURAGE. COURAGE to listen, COURAGE to hear, COURAGE to obey, COURAGE to lay it all down to receive the joy of the Lord.
Like Dorothy and her friends who journeyed searching for the ultimate prize having to be courageous and face what lied ahead even when it was scary and seemed like they would never get to the Emerald City….We are called by God to trust Him and believe His promises to draw near to him intimately so He can give us Promiseland living.
Are you willing to have the COURAGE to follow the Lord knowing that His promises are Truth and in Him all things are possible even when He is asking you to go beyond comfort and complacency and stop complaining so He can fulfill His promises and give you the desires of your heart and abundant life?
Who are you journeying with. Are they enCOURAGErs? Are they speaking Truth to you and inviting you to walk closer to the Lord? Are they heading to the Promiseland beside you?