Be Bold

BE BOLDThis year, I want to become more bold in Christ. While I do not choose New Year’s resolutions, God does often give me a word at the beginning of each year – usually, something that I will need to learn in the months to come. This year, the word I have been given is “boldness“.

Boldness:

  • “Not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff;
    courageous and daring” (dictionary.com).

This year, I strongly feel God’s call to be bold in all that He has called me to do. As I am growing in listening to His spirit within me and hearing His voice, I am also learning to have the courage to obey what He says and to go where He leads. Often, I feel called to say something to a particular person, or to grow in a relationship with a certain friend, or to pray openly for someone – and, too often, I have chosen not to do this. Or, I have, but very hesitantly – internally afraid that saying what I have been given to say or reaching out when I feel called to will somehow backfire or affect others’ opinions of me.

Of course, writing this now, I recognize how wrong this is – do I care more about what people think of me than I care about what God thinks of me? I am sure my neglect in following Him has caused me to miss out on many valuable opportunities to be an encouragement, light, and witness for Him. Does my fear of what others might think outweigh my desire to follow Him with every aspect of my life? Of course I want to say no, but it is my actions that determine the answer. Thus, if I truly want to follow Him with my life, I must have the boldness to follow Him in all things – even when it is uncomfortable.

Another meaning of boldness:

  • “Beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative” (dictionary.com).

God’s ways are often unconventional, beyond the usual limits of typical thought or action. Yet, He calls us as His Church to go forth and follow Him regardless. He calls us to choose His ways over our fears of rejection, embarrassment, or the unknown.  He calls us to be bold. Sometimes, He calls us to be bold in very unconventional ways – sometimes, He calls us to wait. Boldness does not necessarily mean taking action – it is the replacement of hesitation with confidence that defines boldness. Thus, if God calls us to wait for Him, we must wait without hesitation, confidently acknowledging that His plan is greater than our own and that He will fulfill His promises in His perfect timing.

It is important to go forth in boldness, but this does not mean going forth in pride and self-confidence. In fact, I believe that true boldness, the kind that God calls us to as believers, is very humbling. True boldness comes from recognizing that we do not know the best paths for ourselves; but, that God does. It also means choosing to follow Him despite our own fears of  inadequacy – it is not about us, it is about Him working through us. He loves to show His strength through our weakness. Thus, when God leads us in a certain way or gives us a specific direction, we must have the humility to recognize that His path is the best one – and thus, go where He leads in boldness. When we are following Christ boldly, we can only do so humbly – after all, the very act of following Him is a declaration that our own paths and power are not sufficient.

Boldness is also so freeing. When we choose to go where God leads, abide in Him, and boldly obey His spirit, we can have the freedom of knowing that we are exactly where we are meant to be, doing precisely what we are meant to do. This eliminates all “fear of missing out”, or fear that we should be doing more – because, so long as we are where God wants us to be, allowing Him to work through us instead of relying on our own power, there is nothing greater. There is so much peace in this. This relates back to my previous post, on “Missionary Mindset”. When we are bold in following God wherever He has placed us, we will begin to recognize that where God has called us is our ultimate mission field. If we are bold in going where He leads us, then we can know we are in the right place – and thus, we can more confidently fulfill His mission in that place.

Imagine what the world would be like, if every member of the Church sang out boldly in Christ’s name, proclaiming His name without fear or hesitation. If every one of us listened to the Holy Spirit throughout each and every day, and confidently followed His guidance. Think back to the prophets, apostles, and disciples of the Bible – think of how boldly they went forth and proclaimed the good news, even despite incredible persecution in many cases. Today, in the American Church, we do not even face persecution – we simply face discomfort and the pressure of conformity. Yet, so often we choose to so conform instead of speaking out in the joyful boldness of the Spirit.

This year, I want to become more bold in Christ. I want to love boldly, to wait boldly, to proclaim His name boldly, and to use my entire life to sing out boldly about His wonder, beauty, and goodness. After all, what is there to fear? To quote Romans 8: 31-35, 37-39:

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 gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justified. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…

…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that 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.

Thus – let us be bold.

3 thoughts on “Be Bold

    • It has definitely been quite an adventure! I have learned that the call to boldness in following Christ does not always mean that the outcome will be as expected. Sometimes, I am called to say something, or to do something, and it does not seem to have great or even good results – at least immediately, in what I can see. So, I’ve learned that I also have to trust God with what comes next; I have to trust that He knows best, even when I can’t see the “why”.

      And, I am definitely still learning. I know He still wants me to be more bold in the way I love others – which I can only due rightly when I find my identity fully in Him. Definitely an ongoing journey. 🙂

      How about you? How has your boldness journey been going?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I prayed a dangerous prayer at the beginning of the year: “Father make me more like Jesus by whatever means necessary.” He’s given me multiple opportunities to grow in boldness (Christlikeness) by teaching me to engage in crucial conversations.

        I hate conflict because the thought of leaving someone indifferent is right up there with taxes and acute sunburn. He’s given me a few tools for this but has also given me power and assurance through his Spirit.

        Like

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