This is a difficult post for me to write and consider because more than anyone else it is written specifically to myself … it is definitely one of my much needed break-thru areas. The following statement is much more confession than post summary,
“Fear, timidity, selfishness and pride are enemies of speaking the word of truth and the gospel in boldness.”
Fear vs. faith
Timidity vs. the power of God
Selfishness vs. love thy neighbor
Pride vs. God’s glory
The above competitors are lined up and too often I align more with the weaker world teams than the powerful kingdom teams.
Fear is partially about what will I say and how will I say it … yet Jesus told us we would be given what to say in that hour. Not only that but it is not I who speak but the Spirit speaking through me … that demands faith and trust IN God … not fear.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:16-20 (ESV)
Here is one such example (among many) that confirms that what Jesus promised is indeed what happens.
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31(NASB)
Timidity is just another name for fear … and yet God has given us a spirit of power and love and discipline … timidity seems to reveal a lack of belief in what God has promised.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB)
When we refuse to speak with boldness or even to speak at all, we are being selfish with our own reconciliation … God’s reconciliation lovingly performed through Christ Jesus. And yet what does God expect of the reconciled? To perform the ministry of reconciliation among the lost … to commit to share the word of reconciliation with those who need to be reconciled to God. Jesus has called us to love one another as He loves us … love your neighbor as thyself.
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,namely, that God was IN Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:16-19 (NASB)
Fear, timidity, selfishness and pride all come into play when we are more interested in pleasing men than in pleasing the God who examines our heart … it’s more about preserving our glory and dignity than in glorifying the One all glory is due!
For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (NASB)
And no doubt we come to believe there is much more safety and satisfaction in our comfort zones and upon calm seas than speaking bolding in the midst of much opposition and in the midst of turbulent waters.
You ever feel like as you write, the Holy Spirit is taking His sword and cutting straight to your heart? I am so much in the midst of that right now.
The glory of God and the Holy Spirit should propel our great boldness of speech
For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech,and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 2 Corinthians 3:11-13 (NASB)
Unlike Moses, this glory is not fading away!
Lord, I have much to meditate upon … thank you for the teaching and conviction of the Holy Spirit as He wields the sword of truth in my heart and soul!