Be Bold

"When they saw the boldness of Peter and John... they marvelled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13

"Be strong and full of courage" God (to Joshua 4 times before they entered the Promised Land)

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy SpiritWhether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge“ - Peter the Apostle

“We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can almost be as stupid as a cabbage as long as you doubt.” 
― Dallas Willard

Looking Clever or Carrying the Anointing

Western man has made an idol of reason, polishing it with perpetual questioning and fence-sitting. This yeast, this intellectual pride, has got into parts of the church. We like to hide behind doubt and hedge our bets as much as we can. God forbid that in spite of all our degrees in theology we look like fools for Jesus! However attractive the vulnerability in which it is packaged (and I am a huge fan of transparency and honest connection), doubt is not a virtue in Christian leadership. Faith comes by hearing, chewing and feasting on the word of God and without faith it's impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6). Whatever is not from faith is sin. (Rom 14:23)

Uncertainty has become odiously trendy in our grey, postmodern, western culture of intellectual idolatry. Thomas did not get a medal from Jesus for his honesty and stubbornness, neither does he appear in the heroic, brave, Hebrews 11 hall of fame. Yes, we all have seasons of wrestling with truth. And that is our moment to peel away from the public platform and earnestly seek the face of God. In truth, I must do this most days! I am utterly dependent on a daily pentecost. The posture of humility both wrestles with mystery and embraces it, from a place of faith, trusting the One who's ways are higher. Pride-fullness, on the other hand, accuses (God - Matt 4) with questions, from a place of fear, wilfulness and timidity

I have noticed that my timidity and lust to please man is evidence of my lack of Holy Spirit infilling and time in the scriptures (Acts 4:31, Rom 10:17,Psalm 1). Faith is courageous. Believers are always bold. The virtue of courage in the God-fearing church will make the world marvel again (Acts 4:13) and they will know that we have intimacy with the Most High God as we are all "filled with the Holy Spirit..." speaking "the word of God with boldness." 

Plain Speech and Balls
If you do a study from the New Testament of characteristics of people filled with the Holy Spirit you will find two chilling traits. John the Baptist (filled from birth), Jesus, Peter, Paul and Stephen were
1. All people of plain speech. 
2. All martyred.
In other words, the Holy Spirit doesn’t endorse wooly talk. He is NEVER political. And biblical love was never co-dependent, wafty tolerance, but backboned, brazen and bloody self-sacrifice on behalf of lost people on their way to hell without repentance and faith.

Our recent Gospel rally in Trafalgar square, London

The church leadership in our nation needs to throw any and all insidious victim mentality (which ironically is trading off the same spiritual trading floor as the LGBTQ community), deemed honest and courageous by some, and learn to stand on the word of God like a God-fearing bond-servant once again (Gal 1:8-10). We are not to play with the message, we are simply to give it. We are ambassadors, heralds, not canny spin doctors. Charles Spurgeon said this - "The Gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended, it just needs to be let out of its cage." Forgive my brash turn of phrase but much of the time faith is, simply, sheer balls. In short, we the church need our balls back in this hour. Start with me!

Humility, Favour and Power
Favour and anointing is coming on men and women without guile and of plain speech. Love is pure. Great faith works through this love.  The world is sick to death of spin, people are not looking to be pandered to but saved by and lead through a revered company of incandescent men and women who, loving not their lives, carry with heaven's authority and anointing the humble, black and white, heaven and hell, death to life gospel of Jesus Christ. Bend us O God! Make us bold through intimacy, like Peter and John. 


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