“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:24-28 KJV
I want to talk about what creates boldness. There isn’t a simple answer for this. It isn’t just one thing, if you want boldness, you have to want Jesus more than your own life. If you aren’t willing to surrender your entire life, you won’t make it very far.
A call to die
I was taught growing up, that the gospel is your ticket to heaven. That Jesus paid a price for you to be forgiven and have a way to heaven. Although that is true, it’s not the full truth. And even though it is true, it’s deceptive. It creates the idea in people’s minds that the goal of Christianity is to pray a prayer, get your ticket, and wait for the trumpet to blow. It puts no responsibility on you, except church attendance. (Which most of the time stops with people with this mindset.) God is no longer real to people, it’s like His greatest hits were somewhere far away, and one day He’ll ramp up His power and do something. For now, He isn’t doing anything, and we are to wait for Jesus to return before anything of the kingdom of God starts.
This is so not true. When the Lord spoke to me in April of 2015, and I saw the movie “The end of Churchianity” I realized the lie I was living. Not only did God still move in power, but the kingdom is HERE! This blew me away. One of the lines in the movie that really gripped me was this, “what we have in the western world is this fluffy churchianity that gets nobody anywhere. The preaching in the New Testament is overwhelmingly repentance preaching. In the west there’s no real salvation in my opinion. A real saved person is a disciple. A real saved person will drop everything and go if that’s what Jesus asks them to do.” I was riveted. I realized this one thing, I was alive to myself. My life belonged to me.
Then a song played in the movie;
Take me to your holy place
Cover me with endless grace
I melted under conviction. I said to the Lord, “God, I don’t even know you. I know about you. You can have my life. I’m done with it. Do whatever you want.”
That night I surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I felt the presence of God for the first time. In August I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and in September I was baptized in water. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
Baptism can not be separated from the gospel. The call is to die to yourself, your desires, and your life completely. Sin loses its power, its grip, and its stain. We die with Christ, and we come to the newness of life.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit for power
Some people see this as optional. Wrong. The power of God, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are non-negotiable. Jesus received it before He started His ministry, so did Peter, so did all of the Apostles. What makes us think that we can do the Christian life without the power of God? What makes us think that our wise words are what’s going to transform people? “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:19-20
Simon Peter, Jesus’s main Apostle, was the one who denied Jesus and cowered in fear for his life. All of the disciples (except John) hid in fear. Jesus rose from the dead and told the disciples to “wait for the promise of the Father… John truly baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Ten days later, the Holy Spirit fell in the upper room on Pentecost. Peter, a man who previously denied Jesus stood up and preached boldly. Everyone was convicted and cut to their heart. Three thousand people gave their lives to Jesus that day.
There are many things that separate courageous Christians from average western Christians. (I don’t know of a better way to say that) Every time I talk to and encounter Christians who live in fear, or who aren’t on fire for God, it is almost always directly connected to this one thing. The people who have been baptized in the Spirit, and those who have not. Now I understand that there are people who are on fire who haven’t received it, but I’ll bet you that they are either close to receiving it, or don’t know how to receive it. God always works this way. He separates light from dark, good from evil. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Matthew 12:30
You will not be in biblical Christianity if you look like the world, talk like the world, and act like the world.
Here are a few more verses along this line:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18
“but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”” 1 Peter 1:15-16
We have been separated unto the gospel of Jesus Christ. We represent Him in everything we do. We are to emulate Him in every way.
The Love of God and Fear of the Lord
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Without the love of God, we would be in a big mess. The Lord saw the condition of man, and had compassion on us. He sent Jesus to pay for our sin and sickness. He paid for our misery to be removed, and so that we could become like God again, and have relationship with Him. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 Knowing that you are loved by the God of the universe is indispensable. Something that always fills me with confidence is knowing that God is with me, in me, and for me. His love is my everything. It’s the center of where I desire to be.
This doesn’t complete the equation, however. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-11
Do you notice how Paul says, “the terror of the Lord”? God is loving, but He’s also terrifying. He scares me, in the best way. People often say “the fear of the Lord isn’t being afraid of God” I’m always like, “have you read Exodus?” God is so awesome, so terrible, and so magnificent. I think C.S. Lewis said it well in the Chronicles of Narnia:
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Aslan represents Jesus, and Jesus represents the Father. So, as we know, God is not safe. Ask Nadab and Abihu what they thought of God.“Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” Leviticus 10:1-2
“Woah woah, Lee, that’s Old Testament.” Ok, here’s a New Testament example: “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.” Acts 5:1-5
I’m not saying you should cower in fear of God, but you should be afraid of being away from Him. These two things will push you into obedience. The love of God, and fear of the Lord. “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17
Just the other day, I was driving to work, and I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Lee, you’re parking at Shoprite today.” I thought, “hmm… maybe that’s just me thinking that.” And He said “LEE, you’re parking at Shoprite today.” I jumped a little and said “Yes Lord.” He said, “there’s a man I want you to talk to.” And there was. It was a simple encounter. I basically just told him God loved him. And that was it. But later I saw a friend I haven’t seen in months and we walked from where I work down to Shoprite. That’s God!
Let the fire burn
The Holy Spirit told me a while back, “Lee, if you always want to be on fire, stay in my word.” With the power, presence, and word of God, we will be unstoppable. Glory to God! He was won the victory through Christ Jesus our Lord.
I hope this encourages and strengthens you. I pray that the Lord would set a fire in your soul so powerfully, that when you talk to people, all you want is for them to know Jesus.