Tuesday, July 14, 2015

we are called to b o l d n e s s

I always love those moments where God is laying something on your heart, and you realize that you keep seeing these little signs from Him throughout your daily life. This time, it was about being called to boldness.

A little background on me -- I'm not what you would call "bold" necessarily. I would say boldness is easier for me when I'm around my friends, and people I'm really comfortable with. But, with people I'm not as familiar with, I wouldn't say I'm bold. In fact, I think "shy" would better describe my personality. I'm reserved and quiet until you get to know me. In essence, boldness is something I struggle with in my daily life and relationships, which also translates into my faith.

These subtle reminders have been happening frequently, and it started with a pin from Pinterest (cheesy, yes) reminding me of one of my favorite verses, Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

That verse is one of my favorites for many reasons; one, I remember my grandma telling me when I was younger that it was her favorite. Further, I think it is a summary of life as a follower of Christ. Life can be pretty intimidating and scary, but depending on God for strength and knowing He is with us always gets us through tough times. I love that I remember this verse and recall it often when I'm facing tough times.

The next reminder I received of a calling of boldness was in a Bible study plan I have been going through recently. When I'm unsure of what I should do for my quiet time, my first plan is to check my YouVersion Bible app and browse the different reading/devotional plans. I find that they are extremely helpful, and always give me insight and new passages to read and more or less guide a great quiet time with the Lord. This time, I was reading a plan called "Share Jesus -- Go & Give Life". I thought it would be a really beneficial plan, since I am gearing up to go back to school where I am a Young Life leader. To say it was beneficial is an understatement! I would recommend anyone to read this plan, really. It gives great insight on sharing your faith -- a key component to being a follower of Christ.

The entire plan discusses sharing your faith, and being bold as a whole. It provided great verses to go along with the devotional, and has made me think about how I want to share my faith with others in a more "bold" way -- that being, not letting fear get in the way of my faith. It sounds simple, but it is just something I have always struggled with.

I'm not quite done with the devo plan, but I think my favorite passage the plan talked about was in Judges 6. If you don't know the story, I will give you a quick summary. Gideon was afraid of sharing his faith (like I sometimes am, and maybe you can relate). An angel appeared in front of Gideon and told him to face and fight his enemy. Gideon thought for sure God was mistaken, but God wasn't interested in Gideon's strength, rather his weakness, because where we are weak, He is strong. God says, "surely I will be with you" when we object to sharing our faith. Plus, He is with us in all moments -- He can overcome anything. Thus, through Him, we too can overcome all things, including fears in making our faith known.

The last little reminder I had was today, during my quiet time. I was listening to a KLove playlist on Spotify while I was doing today's devotional from the plan. I always think songs explain emotions and are oftentimes more powerful than words themselves, and a particular song started playing that really made an impact. The song was "Courageous" by Casting Crowns. Now I see it was no surprise this song "happened" to come up on shuffle while I was reading about being courageous and sharing my faith. Here are a few of my favorite lines from the song:

we were made to be courageous, we were made to lead the way
we could be the generation that finally breaks the chains

we were warriors, on the front lines standing, unafraid
but now we're watchers on the sidelines

the only way we'll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands

Like I said, songs/music is often times way more powerful and convicting to me, and this song and the lyrics definitely hit home. I can totally relate to "watching on the sidelines" when I could be more actively pursuing others for Christ, because in reality God created us to extend His love as followers of Christ. We are all lights in a dark place! And the last line really clicked -- to me this just summed it all up. I'm afraid because I don't always feel like I'm good enough to share the Gospel, or that I'm a good enough Christian, or whatever lies I make up. I can stand because I am weak, like Gideon, and fall to my knees. But I have the strength from God to carry me and lift me up.

I encourage you to check out this reading plan if you need encouragement to be bold in your faith -- I think there is no person who is too bold! I will definitely have more reflections as I finish the devotion. Until next time!


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