The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1
It seems the older I get, the more cautious I tend to be. As a kid you have wild dreams and limitless possibilities. Nothing seems too big and really if you can imagine it, you can do it. The sky is the limit. The world is your oyster. Somewhere along the line, however, we start to doubt what we are really capable of and tend to focus only on things that are safe. I’m not sure exactly when or where it begins to happen. But inevitably, we gravitate toward the things that make sense and allow us to be comfortable in our own skin.
I pray for a hunger in myself for the Gospel story. If my heart is cold it’s because I’ve allowed it to get that way. I haven’t been in the word, I haven’t been in prayer, and probably haven’t been in fellowship with other believers. But an amazing thing starts to happen if I start to do those things. The things of Jesus become greater and the things of Earth grow strangely dim. And I begin to want to tell others about this Jesus, just like the disciples in Acts 4:19 (I LOVE THIS!): But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” The boldness we develop in Christ makes us not able to hold it within. We have to tell others about Him!
Acts 4:29, 30 is a prayer request of the gathered disciples and early church after Peter and John were released from the Jewish authorities. It’s a request for boldness and I believe we do well to pray the same prayer today: “And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness, while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” As I read that prayer, the words “complete boldness” hit me like a Mack truck. The evidence overwhelmingly shows that God answered their prayer. The Gospel message was not hindered, rather it was multiplied and spread like wildfire. Oh Lord, give us boldness today!
In conclusion, I’m often tempted to think that revival, true revival, is a very unlikely event within my lifetime. I see such hopelessness in the world and I see the church, the American church, often unengaged and uninterested in truly seeing this world changed for Christ. But then I go back and read these accounts in Acts. I see the odds that were stacked up against these men and women. I see their faith on fire and the passion they had which never waned or faltered. And I think, “maybe God is looking for those men and women today who have the same hearts and are praying for that same boldness.”