Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Today I was reading the book of Acts and was struck with the idea of boldness. The disciples were so bold for Christ - but only after receiving the power of the Holy Spirit. Stephen, too - and Paul, later on. All the early Christians had a fearlessness about them that seems unnatural.

And not just them. Others, through history, have had that unmistakable voltage about them; I'm reminded of Corrie TenBoom at the moment. I'm reading her book "Tramp for the Lord" - have you read it? I picked it up at our local library sale for $1.00! If you haven't read it...you must.

TenBoom. Judson. Livingston. Bunyan (reading one of his books, too!). Carmichael. Spurgeon. Luther. ...

...That list could be as long as the grand canyon, and still incomplete. There's no end to the names that pop into my head when I consider the word "boldness." Think of Esther; "if I perish, I perish." I mean, how much more resignation and quiet determination can you have?

The stories of these people are so familiar to me that I don't always stop to ponder them. I mean, what would it be like to be in their place? It's all well and good to applaud Peter for standing in front of the high priest and saying "we must obey God rather than man," but what if I was standing in front of...say, the supreme court, with the possibility of a death sentence breathing down my neck if I offended the chief justice? What if I had just watched the execution of my dearest friend, ordered by this same court? Would I dare say all I was thinking? Would I even be able to make my dry mouth form any words?

Let's make it simpler. Suppose I was sitting in a room with a stranger, and we had struck up a conversation. Suppose I had the opportunity to talk about Christ. Suppose she said something about herself that I knew to be faulty - such as "I'm not a sinner," and I have the perfect open door to correct her. What then?


I sit there and shake in my flip-flops, to be quite honest. What if I come across as too harsh? What if I get carried away and say something that isn't true? What if this isn't the right timing? She older than me; surely she'll think, "what's this kid trying to do, acting like she knows more than me?" She'll stereo-type me into something I'm not. She'll be defensive. I'll say something I'll regret. I'll be judgemental. I'll do it in the flesh, not the Spirit. I'll make her think ill of all Christians because of me. I'll be at a loss for words.

Oh yes; this scenario is much more familiar. Too familiar.

Boldness? All of the sudden, it becomes an unreachable ideology. Yeah, I'd love to feel it, but I don't. I'm scared stiff. Of mankind. Of myself. Of failure. Of bringing shame upon the One I call Lord, because I don't perform well enough.

But scripture tells me that those who are filled with the Holy Spirit are bold.

I sat there and just admired boldness this morning. Oh, how lovely it would be, to be so confident in the outcome of a situation! Not really knowing how it will turn out, but confident just the same; sure in the God who arranges things according to His good pleasure. Convinced of every word I speak. Unafraid of the truth, and the results of publishing it. Calm in the face of the unknown.

Oh yes. That's definitely Spirit ground. No natural man-made abilities there. No wonder the thing is so beautiful; it's so out-of-this-world.

The only way I know of to have that boldness is to know the Source. And His Word. Being seeped in scripture, until it penetrates my very pores, and flavors everything I do and think.

"Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things."
(Joel 2:21)

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
(Phil. 1:6)

"Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it."
(1 Thess. 5:24)

"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
(Col. 4:5-6)

"I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who are thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens..."
(Isiah 51:7&12-13a)

Enough with insecurities. Enough with worry about myself and the way I'll appear to mankind - or to God. It isn't about me performing for Him. It's about Him performing through me. There really is a Spirit that works in us. ...And through us.

I should be careful with my words. I should think before I speak. I should place a guard before my lips. But, sometimes, the Spirit prompts me to say something that either doesn't make sense to me, or I'm afraid to say it...and I analyze too hard. I reason my way out of saying it. I keep my mouth shut. That isn't right, either. There is a time to speak, just as there is a time to be silent.

Lord, grant me wisdom!

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