I was thinking the other day – What is one of the most important things we can do for God & ourselves? So many of us are missing a key component, that can enable us to not only win – but take others with us as we do great things!
I believe that God has called us to: BE BOLD.
The word BOLD means Brave, Confident, Strong.
If you want to be Brave, Confident, & Strong, you also have to be self-aware. Being BOLD is having the courage & speaking out against what’s wrong no matter what others think or say. It’s doing God’s will and continuing on the path that God puts you on regardless of what happens in life. When you choose to be BOLD – you live with the reality knowing that God is always on your side so there’s never a reason to fear.
& yet to be BOLD according to the bible is not a personality trait. To be bold does not mean to be loud or aggressive… A person who is soft-spoken & introverted can also be BOLD. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit, you can be BOLD – no matter what your personality is or what negative defaults you may operate in.
Here are a few things I have learned about what it means to be BOLD!
Boldness is contagious.
When you choose to be BOLD – others believe they can be BOLD too. Your example leads the way for others to take action.
& most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
When Paul was imprisoned for being BOLD for God – it helped other Christians also choose to be BOLD. We have all experienced this in some way… We see someone else do what seems impossible – & we realize that we too can do it. The best way to start a movement of BOLDNESS – is to step out in BOLDNESS ourselves.
Boldness means doing whatever It takes!
It is not easy to live in a way that others are not. It goes against our natural way of thinking… The Bible even acknowledges that it goes against our flesh nature to be BOLD.
…& this is just what our flesh emphatically does not want to do. It resists the Spirit in order to keep us from doing what we want to do. To prayerfully pursue boldness in the power of the Spirit requires dying to our flesh.
Choosing to let our flesh die & choosing to let our spirit lead, enables us to achieve what is beyond our natural ways & thoughts. The bible says…
…to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
When you choose to die to our flesh in order to pursue BOLDNESS – you are really choosing life. I want to ask God to help me when I am weak when I am fearful when I want to hold back or stay in the flesh… God Whatever it takes, I want to let go of all that is holding me back! I want to grow & increase in my spirit so that I can be BOLD to live for you & stand for you, even when it is not comfortable or convenient.
BELOW ARE 4 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW… AS YOU GROW IN YOUR BOLDNESS:
1. BOLDNESS doesn’t mean Bossy.
If we think that being bossy is the same as being bold, we are very wrong. It can be a confusing thing to understand that you can be BOLD & also be gracious. Naturally, I have a tendency to think that BOLDNESS is the same as being bossy or opinionated – however, that is not what it is supposed to mean… I have found that what it means to actually be the kind of bold that God wants us to be, looks a lot different than you may naturally think.
I believe that God has called us to be BOLD by understanding WHO HE IS first! There is such a thing as misguided BOLDNESS – you are misguided when you selfishly look at a situation & respond with your own opinion. It is easy to do this because we all have opinions & feelings that we would like to express at times.
2. Be BOLD about what Matters.
Because we have individual feelings, experiences, & opinions… it is easy to be BOLD about things that don’t really matter. We see so many people in the world today protesting, advocating, picketing & being stubborn about things that do not matter in the grand scheme of life. It is important to stand up for what is right – so don’t misconstrue what I am saying… but I think that it would be a waste to spend your life upset or standing for something that doesn’t matter in the long-run.
So, how do you know what matters… & what does it look like to live BOLD for God? I think these are important questions to ask. Dwight Moody once said,
When we find a man meditating on the words of God, my friends, that man is full of boldness & is successful.
Dwight L. Moody
I think that first, we need to focus on the truth, if you do not know the truth – how can you know what matters? In Romans 8 & in the book of Acts we can see how Christians were full of the Spirit & they were BOLD for God. Peter & John, once frozen with fear, when filled with the Holy Spirit, were out preaching the gospel for everyone to hear. They were eventually arrested because of their BOLDNESS — & they now walked confidently in the very thing that had terrified them before — their BOLDNESS for God even surprised the Jewish leaders, who because of their BOLDNESS realized that…
… they had been with Jesus.
I want to live in such a way that my BOLDNESS points to Jesus! A way that I can start to be BOLD for God, is to ask myself: Can people see that I have been close to Him?
Prayer in private results in boldness in public.
Edwin Louis Cole
3. Being BOLD – may lead to Rejection.
I hate to say this, but you need to know that being BOLD – even for the right things will NOT be easy! There are so many examples in the Bible of what it means to be BOLD for God. I have found that it is a common thing to feel alone when you operate with a God-like BOLDNESS, but we do have people to follow, like Jesus, Paul, David, Joseph, Esther, Daniel & so many more… BOLDNESS comes from our confidence in God, not in our belief in yourself. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to help us stay within the lines of a God kind of BOLDNESS.
In Christ, “we have boldness & access with confidence through our faith” to God our Father. EPHESIANS 3:12
The truth is there’s no power in heaven or on earth or under the earth that even comes close to the power of God.
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
I want to encourage you, even if you face rejection… You will NOT be alone. God will always be with you! & we need to pray daily for more BOLDNESS in our life & in situations to do the will of God.
Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We never need to be afraid, the only reason we would be fearful is if we really don’t believe these promises that God has given us.
4. Ask God for HELP!
Early Christians knew that they needed the help of God. They had to rely on His power & His guidance, they didn’t have google or a podcast to get a quick fix. I know that like us, they didn’t always feel BOLD. In fact, in Acts 4, the disciples had come back from the governing authorities of the day, & told the church about the threats they received. In that time, Christians were aware that if they followed Jesus outwardly, the result may very well be: persecution & even possible execution. But the interesting thing is that they did not shrink back into hiding – they prayed for BOLDNESS.
& now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness. . . & when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, & they were all filled with the Holy Spirit & continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Acts 4:29, 31
They got an answer to their prayers, fear left them & they received the Holy Spirit, which gave them a renewed BOLDNESS to keep going & to continue speaking & living for God. Being BOLD is not a constant & should not be taken for granted. It is a necessity that we keep praying for it when we need it. Even the apostle Paul experienced this. That’s why he asked the Ephesians to pray…
Because of the good news, I am being held by chains as the Lord’s messenger. So pray that I will be bold as I preach the good news. That’s what I should do.
Being BOLD, shouldn’t just be an option when you feel like it… & it is definitely not natural. We must pray for it & ask God for help. God can give you a boldness, in spite of feeling fear – you can choose to step out in faith that God can & will give us the BOLDNESS that we need at that specific moment. When you do not know what to say, God promises to help us… & even to fill our mouths by the Spirit.
It will not be you speaking. The Spirit of your Father will be speaking through you.
I believe that God knows where you are at today! He also knows what He has called you to do… & He can help you get where you need to be. God did not create us to shrink back in fear everytime that we are faced with hardship – however, we were not meant to be strong in our own abilities. On our own, we can only do so much, but…
…with God – ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.