Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holy Boldness

I once wrote a song called Holy Boldness. There was a time in my life where I wrote over 150 songs, mostly about God and His wonderful life. I wrote about how His life affected me and things it made me think and feel. I remember the boldness that filled my soul when reading the scriptures and being filled up with the expectations of seeing Christ return to retrieve His bride. It gave me a sense of worth and value that I had a place in His heart. I gave me a boldness to speak of Him to people I worked with and met on a day to day basis. 

I remember a young man coming to the church I attending for a while in Florida. It was the early eighties and this young man spent a week of revival messages that stirred me up to be bold in the Lord. We went out on the streets to witness to people who were on the Miracle Strip in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. We were excited and bold to proclaim our faith to strangers. It was a miracle that some of us were not arrested or injured.

That led to a group of us learning how to become disciples and taking up the visitation of those who visited each week at the church. We would meet together Sunday mornings to memorize scriptures, pray and learn what the Twelve did to follow Christ. Each Monday night at 7pm we would meet again and take the visitors card, pray over them and go out to look up these visitors. We were suppose to be encouraging them to come back to the church there but we spent our time visiting with them about a man called Jesus. We were more concerned about their salvation than talking them into coming to the church building the next week. I was asked to leave that church after that.

So, we started meeting in my house. We were bold in following God. Those small upsets were not enough to cause us to give up or quit being bold. We boldly went out and shared out faith with many more people. There were more than a hundred people that passed through that little house in Florida. Many I have lost touch with, some I have reconnected with and they have moved on, some I have the pleasure of living with on a day to day basis now. 

But I don't think I'm as bold as I used to be. You see, I sometimes feel like I have a really cool place to live in where disciples are all around me and there is a unity of spiritual fellowship everyday. I don't have to be too bold around those who love me with the love of the Lord. Or do I? I am thinking there is some level of boldness still around me. Maybe it's unreality. In comparison to what I used to think and do I would call it passivity. I used to teach, now I listen. I used to write music and sing the songs God gave me, now I harmonize in the congregation of the Saints. I used to pray for an hour or more at a time, read the scriptures for even more. Now I can fall asleep reading and my prayer life is minimal at best. I used to stand up and share deep things of God in front of a whole building full of believers. Now I shake at the thought of getting up in front of a small group in a household meeting.

What has happened to my holy boldness? Where is that spiritual man I used to know? How in the village did I get to where I am now? Why am I not able to find that holy boldness? What is wrong with me? 

The scriptures tell me that "God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power" (2Tim 1:7) "The righteous are bold as a lion" (Prov 28:1) "the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits" (Dan 11:32) Brothers grew confident and were "much more bold to speak the word without fear" because of Paul's imprisonment. God’s servants were secure in their identity in Christ. And they stood confident in Jesus’ righteousness. Therefore, they had nothing to hide; they stood before anyone with a clear conscience.

It is to my detriment that I forget just that reality. To know who I am in Christ and move in the confidence of Jesus' righteousness. Not my own righteousness, my past failures or weaknesses. There is a work I must do and that is a work of consecration. I have to dedicate myself completely to the love and life of my Lord and Savior. I have to rise every morning acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Love of the Father. Why? 

Because that is reality. Not my pathetic unrealistic view of who I am not. I have to see me as God sees me. I have to draw my strength and boldness from a close knit relationship with God. If I don't sense the boldness then I am not fostering a close relationship with my Lord. And I had better find out what is getting in between me and God. I had better get that thing out of the way. It is imperative that my relationship be right at all times in order to be able to do those bold and confident things like I used to be able to do. Not that I can brag about anything, for bragging is all about me if I do. If I brag on anything it is the love and grace of God for me.

Holy Boldness only comes through a deep and consistent walk with God. A relationship that is filled with prayer, time in the scriptures, keeping myself unspotted from the world and worldly things, consecration to God and an open, humble and learning mind given to following Christ every day. I have to start with today and then move on from there. One day at a time. One step at a time. One act of obedience at a time. Time and space filled with the things of God will bring about that Holy Boldness.

I'm starting anew today. How about you?