Friday, January 23, 2009

Be strong and courageous

We recently had a leadership meeting at church and Pastor King talked about 5 statements that he is passionate about. In fact, I think he said he would be willing to lay down his life for these things.

1. I believe that lost people are eternally lost and need to find a way back to God through the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2. I believe that our mandate as a Church is to create an environment in which people are continually challenged to journey toward a Christ centered life through living biblical truth.

3. I believe in Holy Spirit filled worship that facilitates the presence and power of God in our corporate gatherings.

4. I believe that every Christian should serve the poor and the broken.

5. I believe that we should train people who are so Christ centered that they will serve Jesus either within our church or wherever in the world God would lead them.

I agree with each of these statements. The question that runs through my mind is about how these are applied in my life. It's one thing to state that I agree with them, it's a whole other thing to actually live them out. To live these statements requires boldness. It demands that you rid yourself of any spirit of fear or intimidation that resides in you. And to live boldly.

2 Kings 6:16 comes in the midst of a war between Israel and Aram. Elisha has angered the king of Aram and he's determined to capture him. The Arameans surround the city where Elisha is staying and his servant expresses dismay and fear. In verse 16, we see the prophet's confidence in his Lord, "'Don't be afraid,' the prophet answered. 'Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.'" So too should our confidence rest in Christ. Romans 8:31 - "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

There is no room in our lives for a spirit of fear or intimidation. We can't be held captive. The work that we are called to do is not easy and always messy. The truth is that people ministry is messy. A war zone is not neat and clean and we are in the midst of a spiritual war for the souls of men & women. We must rise up, take courage and be bold.

Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

What does it look like to be strong and courageous? What does it mean to be bold?

Boldness is trusting God and not living in fear of discouragement. Boldness is about the church being in unity for the purpose of reaching the world with the Gospel (John 17:20-23). Boldness is speaking the Truth of the Gospel with love. Boldness is giving your body to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to transform you. To be bold is to love with a selfless love that may even strike other as odd. To be bold is pray in faith, knowing that the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective (James 5:16) and enables us to boldly move forward in things for which prayer has been the foundation and which stand upon the promises of God in His Word

Proverbs 28:1 says, "The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion."

Pray for boldness. Seek to be bold. Act boldly in obedience to Jesus Christ and trust that when you pray according to the Word of God you will see amazing things come to pass.

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