It takes a lot of nerve to write this blog six days out of seven, 52 weeks of the year. To open God's Word every morning and seek the inspiration of the Spirit; to seek a nugget of gold for myself; to want to find increase and instruction and not fear dryness. Most days it simply flows as the Spirit speaks to my heart and then I share that with you. Then there is the rare morning when the empty square on my computer screen appears to be the most frightening thing I have faced in my life. What if the Spirit doesn't speak? What if God remains silent today? What if there is nothing to say or I start making it up myself? It is in that moment that I realize just how bold I am in the Spirit to be willing to be so vulnerable and open to my readers because to share these words each morning I have to be just that; bold in vulnerability and openness. It requires of me a confident boldness.
There is a world of difference between putting on a bold face and having confident boldness. A bold face is often the result of pushing aside or even denying the truth of the situation being faced. It is a mask we put on for the sake of other people. It is all about outward appearance and has nothing to do with inner content. Confident boldness comes from the depth of the inner heart, based on a truth that can never be shaken by anything faced or experienced. It is a foundation that has been built firm and strong on undeniable truth; built on a rock that could never be destroyed. When I open the Word each morning I do it with this confident boldness that this is God's Word and that the Spirit speaks to me through it, as he desires to speak to and encourage each of us through it. But there is more to this confident boldness that we need to understand.
Too many followers of Jesus follow without a "backbone" to their faith. They journey through their day with the attitude of hopeful thinking instead of the sense of assured hope. There is a fear to test their faith and the lack of courage needed to face the giants. There is no confident boldness based on the undeniable truth of Jesus' words:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:28-30)
The foundation of everything we are and do, our simple existence, must begin with this truth that our Father loves us. If we do not have confidence in this truth then we cannot live the promises of Jesus with any boldness at all. Having confidence in this truth helps us to see the true priorities of life, that there is nothing in this world to be afraid of, that it is only our relationship with Jesus we need to hold on to. We must know and live the fact that our Father has our back, that he knows us thoroughly, that nothing can come against us outside of the security of his will.
If we have a problem with this truth it is found here; that nothing can come against us outside of the Father's will. The problem is some people would argue and say that our Father would never allow anything to come against us, that he wants to keep us in a cocoon of sorts. But that is because they are trying to understand with our limited understanding. Jesus said, "Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father." Sometimes our Father has us face things we would rather avoid, things that if faced will strengthen us and increase our maturity and understanding. It comes down to trust. Do I trust that what he has me face is actually for my benefit? Do I trust my Father even when he leads me through those "valley of the shadow of death" experiences? Am I 100% convinced of his love to the point that I will remain vulnerable, unguarded, open to the places he will take me, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually?
Confident boldness comes from this foundation, where we know that what we face today has been allowed by the Father, that he has decided we are able to face it and that he will equip us to overcome it. Sometimes people wonder how I have been able to face some of the things I have faced without giving up. Many have remarked on my faithfulness, not understanding that I consider there is no other choice. When you are lost in a storm, tying yourself to the ship is not so much an act of faith as it is a realization there is no other way to survive. To jump ship is to die but to stay and weather the storm is life, no matter how difficult it becomes. I stand in that confident boldness because I believe that my Father is guiding the ship. My confidence is found in his love for me. Nothing will happen to me that he has not allowed and knowing that he has allowed it is good enough for me because I trust him.
We can face those who hate us with love because our Father has our back. We can face impossible demands on our time, talents and intelligence because our Father has our back. We can walk through our day with joy and boldness because of the promises we have been given. If we could just grasp this truth then we would see incredible things being done every day in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is not taking risks because there are no risks in the Father's love. It may look like risk to the world but the world cannot see nor understand the safety of our Father's love. Whether it is writing a blog, taking care of the homeless, standing in defense of women and children, sharing the Good News with a stranger, or simply getting out of bed in the morning, we can do it in the confident boldness of the reality of the Father's love.