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With All Boldness

Dear Friend,

I am pretty sure I’m allergic to pain. It makes my eyes water and my nose run. Sometimes it affects my breathing. Because of my body’s adverse reaction to pain, I try to avoid it as much as I can. Maybe that makes me a “princess.” (I think I could handle being a princess.) Up until a few years ago, I was managing my allergy quite nicely. But while attending a Bible study on the book of Acts, my acceptance of my allergy was challenged, and afterwards I knew something had to change.

We read in Acts chapter four that believers were facing threats and persecution, and so they prayed. (Good move. I am right there with you.) Now I knew what I would pray for if I were in their situation–a great hiding spot and a large iced tea. Yup, this princess would pull up that drawbridge and hide, safely tucked away in the castle, sipping on something cold. 

Do you know what the believers in Acts prayed for? Well, brace yourself:

“And now,  Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:29, ESV).

How are you doing after reading that? It definitely threw me for a loop and got me thinking–NOT what I would have prayed for. You better believe I did not look at praying for my safety the same way after that. I realized it was not always the right priority to pursue, and sometimes we try to protect ourselves from the wrong things. 

So what would make those believers pray for boldness when they understood it may cost them? Why would I, a professed princess, want to pray a similar prayer? Sure a dark chocolate brownie might lure me out of the castle, but I would be sneaking out and only staying long enough to grab one. (Okay, I would totally take two.) What would make me want to exit with boldness and possibly aggravate my allergy? 

The reason those believers prayed for boldness was because they understood the importance of the message they had. The “word” they wanted to spread was THE Word (John 1:14).

Acts 4:12 (ESV) says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Jesus was the message worth suffering for. They knew many people would eternally suffer if they did not share what they knew. The message, and its importance, remains the same today. Thus when my response did not echo those of the early believers, it made me wonder if I had a good understanding of Jesus. They were convinced He warranted boldness and any consequential pain. Did I feel that way? Since that Bible study, my relationship with Jesus has grown. I still have not “arrived” yet, but I have to say praying that prayer does not seem crazy anymore. 

Some of us have been rubbed raw by “bold” believers, leaving us with a bad taste in our mouths. We do not want to be like them. It helps me to know that true boldness is not arrogance or brashness. It is speaking of Jesus with clarity and frankness and sharing a life-giving message that is not always popular. It is understanding that Jesus IS worth any discomfort our standing with Him might cause us. It is not hiding. 

So what happened to this group of believers who prayed for boldness?

“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31, ESV). 

I am not an overly confident person, but I am encouraged to find it is through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit that we are filled with boldness. We do not have to produce it ourselves. And as the Spirit grows us in boldness, we can rely on God’s wisdom and leading to walk it out. It might be worth mentioning: we do not need to go looking for dangerous situations to prove our boldness. (I am sure you adrenaline junkies out there will just disregard that last statement as you do all my attempts to keep you from jumping out the castle windows into the moat below.) 

So who is willing to leave the false security of the castle with me?! Yes, false. God is the true source of safety and peace–not the temporary, surface level kind that we think we find in the “castles” we erect around ourselves. If you are not ready to leave yet, I get it. Ask God to stir up that desire, reveal more of Jesus to you, and fill you to overflowing with His Spirit. He will. But if you are ready now, I will meet you outside–just gotta grab my tiara and iced tea. 

All joking aside, Jesus is life (John 14:6). People need Him. I need Him. If you are serious about carrying this message of life to others and pursuing Jesus with all that is in you, no matter the cost, let’s pray:

“Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed.’ Now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:24b-26, 29-30). 

Yes, Lord. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Letting down the drawbridge,



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