From THE FAITH SERIES
bite size chunks of the Word
Be Bold As a Lion in Faith
“The wicked flee when no man approaches, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
If we are to live by faith, to breathe it, sleep it and eat it, we must walk as Jesus walked when He was here on earth the first time. He is our greatest example of a life lived by faith. We are to be conformed to Him, moulded into His image. To begin, we take a tiny step toward the end goal, not a giant leap, just baby steps, one after another, in that direction. Jesus’ life is our pathway, and these are the stepping stones we place our feet upon: Getting to know Him- who He was, what He did, and every single word He spoke. How did He apply His faith? What did He do? What did He say?
Fortunately, God has provided us with this information in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for this very reason, not only so we can grasp hold of the same faith Jesus walked by, but also the love He walked in. For we know that faith can only work by love. The greater your love actions toward others around you, enemies included, the greater your faith will work. Don’t ever lose sight of this fact. Faith and love are often referred to as “the power twins.” But don’t worry about this. If we follow after, or pursue love, by starting each day meditating upon love-based scriptures, then acting upon them, this will not be a problem. In this way, we will grow in love, as we develop our faith, and both faith and love will rise up in each of us strong and vigorous, becoming power twins, or the twin towers in us. Thus we will be well on our way to conforming to the image of Jesus, our precious Lord and Redeemer, for we will be walking as He walked, yet with our own unique style and personality.
See how simple God has made it for us? And He has fully equipped us for this work. But, this is not to say that we don’t have to do our part. The key is to keep on keeping on. Keep on moving toward that goal. Keep it in your sites, like a target on a shooting range, and don’t let it out of your sight, not for one moment. As God often says to us, ”look not to the left nor to the right…” Don’t give up, and never stop until you reach heaven.
Always we must use great effort to apply God’s Word, what He has given us, and to keep on applying it. With this goal in mind, I jumped into the book of John some time back, but I must admit that I haven’t made it past the fifth chapter. My pace is a lingering crawl, a snail-walk through the book. I want to understand all the truth in this book, to grasp hold of every promise, and learn from every example Jesus gives us. So I do exactly what I tell you to do: I meditate upon its words. I study them attentively, taking one passage of scripture, and each teaching or example at a time. I linger. I define words. I reflect. And I do so prayerfully, empowered by the Holy Spirit, our teacher, as this scripture is a fact, “For it is the Spirit that quickens(makes alive), the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are Spirit, and they are life.”(John 6:63) I pray this before I begin: “Dear Holy Spirit, Sir, You, the greatest teacher of all, are my teacher. I ask that you give me revelation knowledge and wisdom of the passage of scripture You have led me to study. Thank you for revealing to me the truth in this passage that you want me to see. By faith, I open the eyes and ears of my spirit. I believe and I receive. In Jesus’ name.”
Believe that He will teach you, but don’t think this means that you won’t need to really apply yourself to study, and make effort to grasp it, for this is acting upon your faith. You believe He will show you truth, and by applying yourself in order to learn, you are acting on your faith, so plug in your faith, and get stuck in to the Word!
In Matthew 11:11 Jesus makes an astounding statement in regards to His kingdom, and to those ones who enter into it. He said,
“…the violent take it by force.”
The NIV Bible words it like this,
“…and forceful men lay hold of it.”
We only need to look up these words to catch their meaning. I can state it in one word. The word is “power.” But I will go still further for you so that you can fully grasp hold of this with me. Energy. Dynamism. Strength. Vigour. Intensity. Violence. Here we see that “violence” means force. And “force” means violence. The two are interchangeable. Boldness is not listed, but if a person is forceful, he is bold. So I say to you, in all meekness, be meek in love, but powerful and bold in your drive to obtain all that God has promised you, in your stand against the enemy, in your study of the Word; in your testimony to others, in acting on the Word, in becoming all you are in Christ Jesus. In fact, be bold in all meekness. The Lord has taught me this truth. Do this especially in your walk of faith, and the result will be that God will meet you where you’re at, and He will reward your faith, as well as your boldness. For we cannot be meek in applying our faith, and by this I mean, we cannot apply our faith to any situation mildly. We must do so forcefully.
“but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
I have been practicing being bold as a lion recently in every way I can. Chris and I often take Alli to the Park. I especially love to stroll through the beauty of the rose garden there. The many colours and varied scents are a constant source of joy for me. I look so forward to the seeing those many roses all winter long, and basking in their heady scent. The Park gardeners always take great pride in their rose bushes. They are normally healthy and vigorous, as well as beautiful. But this year, I noticed some of the bushes weren’t blooming as they should. I went closer to the unbloomed roses, and noticed that the plants were filled with buds, the same as the blooming ones, but something went wrong as the buds opened. When each bud began to bloom, it was choked, and stopped. Then I noticed the leaves. On the leaves were tiny white specks as thick as jam on bread. I called Chris over, and said to him, “Look at this, Chris. This is what is preventing these roses from blooming.” His answer was immediate. “It’s aphids,” he said. I felt disappointment and sadness, yet my heart said, “Be bold; Speak the Word!” so I did. I took dominion-- the dominion, or authority that is ours from Christ Jesus, and in Him-- over those miserable little creatures. I applied God’s Word in faith. Then I told the Father, “Thank you for your Word. It is Your power in me that does the work, not me. I know, Father, and thank You that you back up Your Word to perform it, and you reward boldness. This is for Your glory!” And guess what? The next time I was there, the next Sunday, there was no change that I could see. But I stood and would not allow this to sway my faith. Yesterday, I climbed the small hill behind Chris and Alli, and Chris shouted, “Look!” He was pointing to the roses I had taken dominion over. The blooms were glorious! The leaves were shiny and healthy, the aphids were gone. Tears welled up in my eyes as I stood gazing in wonder this amazing sight. The Lord spoke up, “This happened because you were diligent. You applied the Word, and you persevered.” I gave Him thanks and praised him. To me it was such a big deal, and a well of joy filled my heart.
I took hold of God’s Word by force, in boldness. I believed. I acted. I said. And I got it!
So be bold, not gentle, in applying the Word of God to your situation. Don’t speak the Word, allowing satan to come in and choke it before it has fully blossomed. You’re not powerless against satan, like the roses are against aphids. Jesus has given each and everyone of us His authority. So, don’t do this, don’t allow your faith in God to be choked, no matter how much you are tempted. Hold on to your faith, and stand on God’s Word. God and His Word are one. Each and every promise of His is true, and it is His will that you have it. This is what Jesus died for—to bring you complete salvation in every way. He died for you for this reason. He wants you to have everything He offers, not just crumbs from the table, but the entire meal, or in reality, the entire New Covenant which is sealed with His blood.
“New Testament” is actually “New Covenant”. This Covenant is based upon “better promises”. It is superior to the Old Covenant. If you see “new and improved” on a product, do you expect it to be inferior to the old one, or superior? I expect “superior”. So when the Bible says the New Covenant is superior to the old. All that is in the Old is ours: healing, prosperity, victory, plus all the extras benefits in the New: forgiveness of sin, freedom from sin, the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, freedom from satan’s dominion; freedom from the curse of the law, eternal life. Jesus paid the price; we get the benefits. Those promises, every single one of them, are yours. God is merely waiting for you to be bold enough to step out and claim them for yourself.
He has made it easy. It’s just that most of us have not realised this. But don’t be in the dark about it any longer. Step into the light. Jesus is this light. Be bold and take a risk. Build up your confidence in the promise you are claiming by confessing it out loud as many times as necessary beforehand. Then, when you are strong in the area of the promise you are claiming, step out and speak to the problem.
What’s the simple formula here?
Believe. Act. Say. Receive.