Proverbs 28:1, NIV – The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion
What does it mean to be bold in our faith? Boldness might be viewed as aggressive, speaking out about Jesus everywhere and to anyone, calling out people’s sin, or speaking truth without love.
Boldness is a theme throughout the people of God in the Bible and takes various forms across different situations. Take a look at a few examples:
• Nehemiah who was a cupbearer went before his king to ask for favor in rebuilding Jerusalem.
• Moses went before Pharaoh to ask for the release of an entire people group who were the backbone of construction and labor of Egypt.
• Daniel opposed the law of the land stating that he could not pray to his God, knowing full well the punishment of being thrown in a den of lions (which God rescued him from).
• Stephen was bold in the face of his aggressors; he did not back down but gave them a wonderful synopsis of the Torah and history of God’s people leading up to Jesus. The result was his stoning.
• Elijah, facing death, went before 450 prophets of Baal to test whose God was real. The result was fire coming from heaven and the execution of all the false prophets.
• David went ill-equipped before a giant and won because the giant cursed David’s God.
These are just a few of the many examples in the Bible of men and women who exhibited boldness and faced overwhelming odds, some certain death, but why? Proverbs 28:1 talks about how the righteous are as bold as lions. The Hebrew word for bold here is batach meaning “confidence, trusting, i.e., pertaining to placing reliance or belief in a person or object.”
Boldness, as we are called to as Christians, is placing our reliance and trust in Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). Any consequences that “man” can do to us are irrelevant because we have an eternal life awaiting us in heaven. The same word for boldness in Proverbs is used to portray this trust in Psalm 112:7-8, NIV:
“Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting (batach) in the Lord.”
Boldness is also used interchangeably with confidence. Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV) says:
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
Confidence, like boldness, is not about being confident in who we are but in Whom we serve. We can only have confidence in God if we know who God is and have a relationship with Him. This relationship can only be established if we read the Word of God and commune with Him. This is the same way we can understand the “will of God.”
We cannot have perfect confidence in our own plans or abilities; they will fail us. God will never fail us. The boldness we have once we understand God’s plans for our lives comes in knowing God is on our side. When we walk in His will, He will be with us every step of the way. This is very different from making our plans and asking God to bless them!
If we don’t have a clear direction for our life, we can still have confidence in the God we serve. We are called to walk in obedience to the Bible even if we are confused about the specific direction we need to take. The greatest commandment we are given is when Jesus says:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22:37, NIV).
Everything we do stems from living out these two commandments; if we love the Lord, we will see His heart in all we do and we will trust Him with boldness. If we love those around us, it shows others the boldness and confidence we have in Jesus and plants the seeds for their salvation.
Our boldness is also displayed in how we approach God thanks to the work done for us on the cross (Heb. 10:19-22, NIV). We can come before the throne of grace and ask for forgiveness without needing a sacrifice.
Boldness can also be misplaced if we trust in the wrong thing. 2 Peter 2:10 discusses sinners who are “bold and arrogant.” Their trust is in themselves; there is not a foundation built of who they are trusting in. When people are bold for themselves and their selfish pursuits, they leave behind a wake of destruction.
Discerning Reflection: In what ways have I not trusted in God or been confident in Him? How can I grow in my knowledge and relationship with Jesus? In what ways do I or do I not portray the greatest commandment?
Prayer: Lord, help me come boldly before Your throne so that I can grow in my relationship and confidence in You. Help me see Your will for my life and be a light to others who see that I trust You with everything. Amen.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on discerning-dad.com
Featured Image by Braden Barwich