We had a young woman in our youth group years ago who was terrified to pray out loud. We’ll call her Kimberly.
Kimberly’s relationship with God was genuine, and the fruit of her faith was evident in many ways: her kindness toward others. The way she served people with her whole heart.
She was simply afraid to pray out loud. Lots of people are, and God hears them anyway. Still, we were taking students on a missions trip where they would be interacting with people of all ages. Praying for people would be part of their role, and we wanted Kimberly to be ready. So, we didn’t press the issue too hard, but we did try to encourage her to step out of her comfort zone.
There were others in the group who were more outgoing and much more quick to take a leadership role. Some of those were less willing to serve than Kimberly. Our whole team spent lots of time together in the weeks leading up to the trip, participating in Bible studies and local outreach projects to prepare for the missions trip. A fly on the wall, if he watched closely enough, would’ve noticed the best of each of us rubbing off on the others. I watched as Kimberly’s readiness to serve rippled into the attitudes of those around her.
On one occasion, we were at a local food bank, handing out groceries to those in need. I looked over to see Kimberly praying for an older woman, and tears sprang to my eyes. I didn’t hear the words of her prayer–whether they were eloquent or simple, passionate or restrained. But I knew the purity of the heart behind them and felt that the person whose name was being lifted up was blessed indeed.
If people, after spending extended time together, can inspire such growth in each other, how much more will time spent with God bring out His greatness in us?
I know that many feel weak and powerless because of the circumstances facing our world. COVID-19 is an invisible and often impartial enemy, and it is wreaking havoc on more than just healthcare systems and economies.
But God. Our God is King, and He reigns high over the novel coronavirus. Many of us have spent the last two weeks praying and seeking God. Digging deep into in His Word. Letting go of worry and lifting up worship instead.
We’ve been lingering in the presence of God, staring into deep pools of his goodness and mercy and grace.
We’ve been hanging out with the Lion of Judah, the roar of His power rattling our bones, reverberating in every cell of our bodies. Doesn’t it stand to reason that some of that boldness–a measure of that authority–is rubbing off on us?
I’m not talking about fighting with weapons of our own making, but we are called and set apart to rise up like a mighty army–taking enemy territory for the Kingdom of God!
- “a chosen generation” (I Peter 2:9)
- “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37)
- equipped with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11)
- “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19)
- “Greater is He who is in you that He who is in the world” (I John 4:4)
We are to:
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10)
“…everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.” (I John 5:4)
It’s time to step out of our comfort zone, whatever that may be, and be the church of Jesus Christ!
Day 13: How might God want His character to come boldly out of you? Today, make a move in faith! Don’t hesitate. Say, “Yes, Lord!” Whatever whole-hearted obedience looks like in this season of your life, take that first practical step. Then the next. And the next.
God, You are the Lion of Judah, and I want Your boldness to come roaring out of me. Without You, I am nothing. But God, I recognize that I am NOT without You. Help me rise up in the authority that You created me to walk in. Worry, fear, and anxiety–in my own home and in those around me–have to give way to peace in Jesus’ name. I believe that You are doing something new in the middle of this chaos! I choose courage today. Let my voice proclaim Your goodness to the world around me. I pray that many who do not yet trust in You would do so in the coming days and weeks. In Jesus’ name, Amen.