God Gave Me Boldness
What God did in me during our mini-revival was incredible. Picture the Christian life as a climb up a mountain. It was as if the Lord took me from where I was on the climb and at once lifted me up to the summit. Eventually He dropped me off somewhere between where I was and the top. He gave me a taste of what the Spirit-filled life could look like particularly in the areas of boldness, living without fear and being fully available to Him.
This was different than the normal spiritual growth I had experienced. Formerly, the Holy Spirit would bring conviction about some issue and I would confess my wrong and pray for strength to change as I committed that area to Him. Sometimes I would set up accountability with another person on that issue.
But during this season, God allowed me to experience the Spirit-filled life. I could look back at how I had been thinking or living and see that it was not God’s will but I was already experiencing the joy of walking with the Lord as I should. It was not a struggle to get to that place.
I could really relate to Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”
I am an introvert and I am often shy in a new setting or around strangers. Unlike most people, I am more comfortable speaking to a group than talking one-on-one or with a small group of people I don’t know. Yet now I found myself boldly approaching strangers such as teens who were smoking nearby or people in the hospital emergency room. I testified to nearly everyone that came across my path including salesmen, believing and non-believing relatives, and people at the Rotary Club.
At one point I made the decision to “go for broke,” which meant to abandon myself completely to the Lord and his purposes and to put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. Believing that his Word is true and that he is worthy of my full devotion, I wanted to go all out for the Lord. My passion was that whatever remaining years I had would count to the max for building his kingdom.
As a leader, one of my weaknesses is being overly cautious. This came out of a fear of offending people with my decisions. But now I was experiencing a boldness I had never known. 2 Timothy 1:7 became precious to me,
”For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
Psalm 27:1 also brought me strength and courage:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?”
Many times as I was tempted to be scared or careful in a particular situation I reminded myself of my earlier decision to “go for broke,”
One Thursday evening as I was sitting at the dinner table alone I felt compelled to tell the story of what God had been doing in my life and ministry. I was so excited about all this “God activity” that I wanted to share it. I wondered who I could tell. Then I remembered that a local church had their youth meeting that night. As I thought of going there and offering to tell my story, my heart began to throb. I took that as a “yes” from the Lord.
As I headed down to Lebanon Chapel a competing voice stepped up in my head saying: “Ed, what are you doing inviting yourself to speak last minute? This is rude. I can’t believe you are doing this!” But I drove on.
When I arrived at the church the youth pastor, who I knew as an acquaintance, was finishing his last minute preparations for his teaching that night. I told him what was going on in my life and asked if I could share both my conversion story and the “move of God” I was experiencing. He was understandably reluctant and said: “We’ll see.” He already had his own plans for the meeting.
However, I do believe he sensed God was up to something and he let me share with his youth. After I shared my story and poured out my heart, seven young people came forward to surrender their lives to Jesus for the first time and about 25 came forward wanting to be Spirit-filled. I was learning firsthand that God shows up when we follow His leading and take risks.
Friend, what might the Lord be wanting to do in your life if you stepped out of your comfort zone and “went for broke?”
Copyright Ed Skipper 2013