In our Knights of Heroes summer camp for boys and girls you have lost their fathers in military service to our country, we teach several traits in order to build character. One of the traits we teach is to be bold. We want to teach them if they are going to stand above the crowd, be people of character, and do what is right then they are going to have to be bold. They are going to have to be willing to swim upstream and stand against the overwhelming messages of entitlement penetrating our society.
But the more I read the Bible, the more I realize I am not sure I have a clear definition of the word bold. When I read about the prophets like Jeremiah, Elisha, Elijah or Isaiah, who had to stand before Kings and Rulers upon penalty of death, exile, or punishment if they said anything negative and did not repeat God’s words. To truly grasp this picture we have to realize these men did not ask for this job, God called them, He raised them up for his purpose. Then they entered the King’s chamber to come before the King, this would be the most prestigious, frightening, and awkward place to make your presence known at the time. You would have known, or heard stories, of kings who beheaded, whipped, strung up or threw into wells people they did not like or did not speak kindly to them. Yet, alone someone who comes before them to tell them the awful death they will die and how their kingdom will be destroyed.
This was the duty of these prophets. Time and time again, with absolute and utter obedience, these men would go before the king and deliver the news the kings did not want to hear. This is boldness at its best. To deliver the unpopular message, to do the unpopular task, or to go against what common sense would tell us to do in order to deliver the message God has placed upon you.
When I think about my own life and how I have been “bold”, it does not compare to what these men did in the Bible. I really could not imagine going before the world leaders of our day; the presidents, kings, and rulers and telling them they will die a horrible death and their kingdoms are going to be destroyed. Pretty sure that would be the most awkward conversation I ever had and probably the last.
The write of Hebrews tells us, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb 4: 14-16
I think, to follow Christ with everything we have, we need to be bold, and be bold in a way we may not fully understand. Paul tells Timothy “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” (NLT) It is the true realization our lives are not our own, but we are sent, we are created for His good purpose and we must be bold in the purpose. Even when His good purpose may be the last thing you want to do, his purpose is always the same, to bring people closer to Him.
Reality of Being Bold
Think for a moment what our lives, our families, churches, and communities would look like if we were actually bold. If we were bold enough to tell our neighbor about the love of Christ. If we were bold enough to tell our co-worker about Christ’s saving grace. If we were not afraid to stand tall, no matter what the circumstances and be a light in a darkened world. What if we could be as bold as Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Esther, Elijah or Elisha. To be able to go before the most powerful person in the land and simply proclaim truth. This definition of bold scares the daylights out of me, but also excites me beyond belief at what God can truly do in our lives when we are willing to let go.
Where do you need to be bold in your life today? What conversation are you not having because you are afraid of what others will think? Spend some time writing out the reasons you are not bold when it comes to Christ. Where do you need the strength to be bold in your life?