We are in, perhaps, the most challenging time spiritually and emotionally this nation has seen. I know many people have seen critical times in this nation before, but there is something different about 2020. I believe it is the proximity of where we are in time, and the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ. I emphasize ‘spiritually’ and ‘emotionally’ because for believers this time is spiritually discerned, and we have great opportunity to allow our emotions get the best of us…, But thank God, in the name of Jesus, we can always apply The Blood to any situation and move forward!
Years ago (2009), Courtney and I were a fresh two years out of bible school, and we were selling some things on Craigslist. *Side note – during this time, I had really been studying and seeking the Lord on being filled with the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. This has been a subject that I have continued to study and learn more and more about. Back to craigslist. Two gentlemen that were probably in their late 20’s came to look at a dresser we were selling. One looked like a normal guy, and the other looked like He-man, with an attitude. Perhaps a little sketchy even. I had a buddy with me that was just hanging out and helping me move some stuff. We were small talking with normal guy and He-man was just quiet, looking like he may just take anything he wanted. After what was maybe 5 minutes, we realized the dresser wasn’t going to work, and we headed outside. Normal guy just got quiet for a minute and then started to expound on being in the service. His wife had divorced him, and he wasn’t getting to see his young daughter as much.
I started to minister to him, and he started to get emotional. I looked back at He-man, and he had lit up a Marlboro cigaretteand was just leaning on his truck bed enjoying a smoke. Before I knew it, I was leading normal guy in a prayer of rededication and consecration to the Lord. It was amazing. As we finished praying and said amen, this boldness came upon me. Before I could even think about it, I turned around and pointed at He-man and said in a very no-nonsense tone, “And what about you, are you in or not!?” He-man melted like butter. He dropped his cigarette and looked towards the ground, his countenance shrank in what looked as guilt and shame and quietly replied, “yeah,” as he shook his head slowly as to nod yes. I walked over to this tough looking guy who now looked like a boy who just broke his favorite toy. He had never received Jesus into heart… I got to pray the prayer of salvation with him that day.
It is one of the most memorable moments of my walk with God. This boldness rose up and came out of me as this man’s eternity hung in the balance. It was the first time I experienced this Holy Spirit boldness. I have experienced it since, but this was a learning moment. This is what we are going to have to depend on, as the church, moving forward. We have turned a corner in this world and in this nation with the boldness of sin and the spirit of anti-Christ. The devil’s boldness is taunting the church, just as it seemed to in the book of Acts. I think it’s important to see the church’s response to Satan’s devices as the church received the Holy Spirit and Power and started their part in the Great Commission.
In Acts chapter 4 – Peter and John were arrested for preaching Jesus. In the previous chapter they had just saw the Holy Spirit confirm the Word they preached. In the name of Jesus, a man who was lame since birth and over 40 years old was miraculously healed and was made whole! It reads in Acts 4 that those who arrested Peter and John could SEE their boldness and realized they had been with Jesus. They saw the man who had been healed standing with them and they could say nothing against it. So, they threatened and commanded them not to speak at all or teach in the name of Jesus and let them go.
Now most people would just ride out that miracle and keep preaching out of that boldness they had a few days prior. The evidence speaks for itself, right!? This is where we’ve missed it as believers and as the church. Let’s look at what they did. They left that place and got together as a unified body. They discussed what had happened and then, they prayed for boldness in order to continue to preach with signs following…. What? The people that arrested them saw their boldness and realized they had been with Jesus! I mean they got it! Right? No. This takes daily fellowship. Let’s look at what they prayed.
29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the infilling of the Holy Spirit is a continual process. These men and woman that gathered here to pray asked for boldness! The place shook and they were filled with (Boldness?). NO, they were filled with the Holy Spirit! This is the church of Acts at it’s beginning. They had already received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They had been filled already. It’s the Holy Spirit that gives boldness! We don’t get filled with boldness, we continually get filled up with Him and therefore have boldness to speak the truth!
There’s a reason why the Lord gave the children of Israel fresh manna every day. There’s a reason they couldn’t hang on to the provision of yesterday to sustain them (there’s so many teachings in this). Boldness to speak in the name of Jesus comes from our daily filling up of His Word and Spirit, andthat strengthens us to do the works of Jesus. It’s just like eating natural food. We eat daily for strength, unless we’re fasting. The Lord will fill us up daily as we pray and seek Him. It’s a discipline that we cannot afford to skip over daily if we are to do the works and bring the greatest glory to our heavenly Father in the name of Jesus.
Pray for Boldness!