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STEADFAST BOLDNESS



Over the last few days of my Bible reading plan through Acts, an unmistakable narrative of Peter and John's unwavering boldness unfolded, leaving me encouraged, inspired, and greatly convicted.


In Acts 4, Peter and John were arrested for “teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (4:2).


A hearing was held in the presence of the Jewish high court where they “called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus”(4:18).


However, the response of these two apostles was nothing short of radical bold obedience by saying, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (4:19-20).


Momentarily, I wondered how I would have responded at that moment. Would I have analyzed, over-explained, justified, and made excuses for my actions, all in an attempt to make me innocent in the eyes of the accusers? Or would I have stepped up boldly with an unwavering commitment to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world around me?


Well, truthfully, I have never been in that position, so I can’t say for sure, but what I will tell you in full transparency is that I have lacked the boldness to speak up and share the truth of Jesus more times than I would like to admit.


You see, the years that followed me hearing the gospel, walking that beautiful church aisle, and accepting Jesus as the Lord of my life were not immediately followed by boldness or growth. The truth is that I carried the name of a Christian while simultaneously listening to the lies of the enemy. I had the power of the Holy Spirit, yet instead of focusing on my role in The Great Commission and the words of my crucified and resurrected Lord Savior, I sank under the weight of fear. Slowly, over time, these fears I felt from the lies of the enemy were fighting to become my truth. I didn’t live a life surrendered to Christ because I feared what that may cost me.


Instead, I lived a life in the false safety, security, and comforts of a broken world. I didn’t live in radical obedience because I feared what people would think of me. The result was me living a lukewarm life of chaos, trying to please both the Lord and the world. I didn’t share Christ with others because I was fearful that I wasn’t good enough. I knew the truth, and I believed it –but it was buried deep underneath the lies of the enemy. So, I kept the words that I knew and believed to be true in my heart and to myself because I was terrified.

So, what about today? Am I still terrified? Truthfully, some days yes. But something changed in my walk and my life when I changed my focus. So, instead of the world, I began to set my eyes on the truths of the One who created the World and everything in it (including myself) for a purpose far greater than ourselves or anything we could even imagine. With this truth, I realized that If I had to choose, I would rather be right in the eyes of a Holy God than right with man.


I believe that if Peter and John had focused on anything other than God, they would have responded quite differently. Their focus didn’t remove their accusers, the witnesses, or the bystanders—it simply placed in them a desire to honor God over everything else. Through the power of the Spirit, these men boldly preached the Gospel, which grew the Early Church to approximately 10,000 Christians.


As sons and daughters of the living King, we have been gifted the power of God that breathes love, life, and confidence in our calling to make Him His known here and to the ends of the earth. So, if today, the enemy is trying to hold you captive with his lies and fear, shift your focus and remember your purpose. I’m certainly not claiming that this path is the easy route –actually, it will probably be quite the opposite. But even in the midst of trials and difficulties, God is with us.


I now confront myself with this one question in moments of fear, worry, doubt, and uncertainty.


“Who am I seeking to honor?”


And if it’s not God, then it’s time to change my focus back to Him.


God is Holy, Gracious, Merciful, Loving, and on and on the list goes. Let us be a community of believers who set our eyes on His goodness as we step up boldly and respond to the world around us by saying, “For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

Amen!


Joyfully HIS,

Jennifer N. Pearson


 

For additional resources, check out the Joyfully HIS Substack Community by clicking here.



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