As I continue to write about David and Goliath, His boldness to face the giant cannot be ignored.
Dictionary.com defines boldness as, “not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual
or possible danger or rebuff.” David’s willingness to face-off against Goliath certainly fits that designation. For us – this is 21st century America. What giants, persecution, or difficult circumstances do most of us face that requires us to be bold? Granted, we tend to be a very prayerful and sacrificial people. And I take nothing away from those who are indeed firm enough in their beliefs to stand strong even if it costs them the sale, the job, or some humiliation. That established, I am afraid that for the most part we are not a bold people.
Moses was bold. The last sentence in Exodus 10:3-6 reads, “And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh.” You just don’t walk up to a dude who thinks he’s a god, tell him that the true God said to free His people, then walk out of that meeting. You just don’t do that. Moses wasn’t always like this. This new found courage came from a guy who made one excuse after another for why he couldn’t go in the first place. What changed? I suppose as Moses began to see that The Lord, somehow, was going to do what He said He would do.
Do you believe that our faith can grow much in the same way? In the New Testament, Peter went through a similar shift. This guy moved from denying that he even knew Jesus to railing those who crucified Him. (Acts 4:8-13) Later, these religious leaders would throw Peter and Silas into prison. Upon their release, the Jewish leaders threatened them not to preach anymore. That would have been enough for most of us to stop doing what we felt called to do. Peter, one the other hand, told them point-blank that he will not obey them (Acts 4:19-20). To top it off, Peter prayed for even more boldness” (Acts 4:29-30). God granted his request (Acts 4:31).
Again, let me commend those of you who have examples of when it took courage to do or say what God directed you to do. I know in many places around the world it takes a higher level of boldness just to meet together in a Christian community than you and I have ever needed to do our Christian “thing.” If we truly want to be used of God in mighty ways it will take boldness – and we should start praying for just that.
I believe that if we begin to act upon the smaller things, like the nudge to help a stranger, or to pray for someone in a public place, then just maybe, our confidence in God will increase until ultimately we too will have to pray as Peter did.
Doug Rea is the Pastor at Connections in Albany, GA.