Okay, so Joan was, to most audiences, being a touch dramatic here, don’t you think? I mean, come on… You can just imagine this as some epic monologue, standing before some big-wig somewhere who was standing in her way.
Alright, it wasn’t that epic.
She was wounded twice in the Siege at Orleans, during the Hundred Years’ War (which by the way, was not one single war nor did it last 100 years… how’s that for over-dramatic?), reportedly once in the foot and once in the shoulder. When pushed by others to use a charm in order to heal her, she responded that she would rather die than to do something she knew was against God’s will.
Come on, Joan, is it that serious after all?
Umm – yes.
I think the reason this quote has become so epic is because it is this bold-faced stance in a world that screams out for heroes and courage, because quite frankly, it’s hard to feel that fearless.
So say it’s a small decision or say it’s a big one – what if someone wants you to do something but you know (that you know that you know, as the old church-y phrase used to say) that it’s wrong? What do you say?
Or flip it – what if someone says you should STOP doing what you feel is God’s will? Joan had a lot of detractors, being a young female military leader, cause, umm… that was probably less common that a young female lead pastor, and we’re not exactly a dime a dozen.
What do you do when someone wants you to walk outside of what God has spoken to and for you?
- Pray. Listen for the Holy Spirit and what God is saying.
- Read. God’s plans for you will never go against Scripture. And if someone says they do, study more, dig deeper into context and find some real understanding, instead of taking someone else’s interpretation at face value.
- Ask. Listen to the council of other mature believers who can speak life, speak truth, and speak love into your life.
And then… consider taking Joan’s stance of boldness and courage.
On another occasion when a group (without Joan) had made a decision, but she had spent some time in prayer separately and came to a different conclusion, this was her response to the Captain’s request that they not fight the next day:
“Go back to that council and tell them this! You have been to your council and I have been to mine. Now, believe me when I say that the Counsel of God will be accomplished and succeed and that yours will fail!”
Wow. How’s that for courage.