“But Paul said unto them, ‘They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison—and now do they thrust us out privily? Nay, verily, but let them come themselves and fetch us out’.”
When we remember we’re already elected and not running for office, we’ll begin operating in the Spirit’s Power and be imbued with “Holy Boldness.”
How easily we cave in to the world’s demands when the pressure’s on, taking the road of least resistance, when we ought to stand firm on God’s Word and be “more than conquerors through Him Who loves us” (Rom. 8:37).
Truly, as the Apostle Paul wrote in II Tim. 1:7, “God has not given us the spirit of fear (Grk. ‘deilia’—‘timidity, dread, faithlessness, etc.’)—but of power (Grk. ‘dunamis’—‘miraculous Resurrection power, ability, abundance, might, etc.’) and of love and of a sound mind (Grk. ‘sophronismos’—‘discipline, self-control, sober-minded, temperate, etc.’).”
That’s why Paul refused to leave the prison like some whipped puppy with its tail tucked between his legs. It wasn’t his Roman citizen that emboldened him; it was his being an adopted and anointed child of the King of kings! Hallelujah!!
In every generation there’s been a war raging between the forces of darkness and the forces of light. Noah’s generation was exceedingly evil (Gen. 6:1-5); yet, God still called him to be that bold, beacon of light in a world of darkness—even as He has called us to be the same today (Mt. 5:14-16; Phil. 2:15).
The same was true with Joseph. . .and Moses. . .and Joshua. . .and Esther. . .and David. . .and Nehemiah. . .and Jeremiah. . .and the 12 Apostles. . .and Paul. . .and Jonathan Edwards . . .and Deitrich Bonhoeffer in opposing Hitler, etc.
The question is “Will we be found faithful? Will we, like Peter, boldly declare the Gospel without hesitation or reservation (Acts 2:14-36)? Will we, like Stephen, still have ‘the face of an angel’ in the face of opposition (Acts 6:15), straightforwardly declare the Truth (7:1-54) and still pray God’s forgiveness for those who desire nothing but our death (7:55-60)?”
Only an anointing by the Holy Spirit can enable us to “forgive those who’ve hurt us and pray for those who’ve despitefully used us and said all manner of evil against us falsely for Christ’s sake” (Mt. 5:11, 43-48). That’s what enabled Paul to get up and go back into the city after he’d been stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19-20).
And, that’s what will enable us to keep on keepin’ on when the easiest thing to do would be to kow-tow, cave in, wave the white flag of surrender or harbor a “root of bitterness” within us (Heb. 12:15). The key is not rehashing the injustices we’ve suffered; it’s “rehearsing in our minds and with our mouths the great things God has done for us” (Ex. 17:14; Judg. 5:11; II Cor. 10:3-5). Why not pause right now and thank the Lord for His Goodness in your life and His sufficient Grace (II Cor. 12:9-10)? Then seek an opportunity to tell someone else today.
August 16, 2011