The book, “The Hole in our Gospel”, by Richard Stearns, continues to provoke and inspire me. Currently, I’m reading through it for the second time this year, and it’s every bit as good the second time around. This morning I read the following passage in the book (page 244), “The difference between the pre- and post-resurrection disciples was astonishing. Fear became courage; timidity became boldness; uncertainty became confidence as their lives were given over to the revolution that the gospel – the good news – envisioned.” He continues a bit later on page 245, “We won’t really become change agents for Christ just by going to church every Sunday. We will have to make some ‘on purpose’ life choices and then change our priorities and behavior. Only then can God transform us and use us to change the world.” We are called to be part of the revolution that is following Jesus. Let’s break down the words of Richard Stearns as I see them applying to us, God’s revolutionaries.
Fear becomes courage. There is no fear in Jesus. He is capable of deflecting any pain and evil from our life, if He should so choose. Just as He did not call on the angels of Heaven to rescue Him from the cross, He does not guarantee that He will keep us from harm. He does, however, promise to protect us from Satan (John 17:15). We may be hurt or discouraged in this world, but we have the eternal hope of Jesus. No matter what happens to us in this life, if we are His disciples, our eternity is guaranteed to be spent with Christ. Knowing this, what could possibly scare us – Physical pain, emotional trauma, embarrassment, discouragement or simply not fitting in? Every human on this earth is a person just like you and me. No one is intrinsically better than another. If anything can be accomplished, it can be accomplished by you. Jesus was never ashamed of God when He spoke to those around Him; He was never ashamed of those to whom He ministered. Rather, He loved the Father and everyone else with a passionate and unconditional love. He wasn’t afraid to be seen with “sinners” or to touch the sick and dying. He wasn’t afraid to die for our sake. Jesus was courageous in every way. He demonstrated no fear. His power is available for the asking, His courage is available to you.
Timidity becomes boldness. Are you fearful to speak about Jesus to strangers, or even to those whom you know? Perhaps the thought of confrontation makes your stomach turn and firmly ties your tongue. Look at the life Christ lived; he was accused of many things, but timidity was never one of them! Jesus knew His mission well and He refused to be deterred from it. The shortest distance between two points may well be a straight line, but the quickest way to travel between those same two points is with boldness. We haven’t the option to be timid because our time is limited and our days are few. This is why Paul asked the believers in Corinth to pray for him to boldly proclaim the good news of Jesus (Ephesians 6:19). Timidity breeds hesitation, and when we hesitate, the moment is lost. We must never lose another moment. We must make the most of every opportunity that we are given. We can be bold in Christ; if you struggle with timidity, pray and ask Jesus to fill you with urgency and strength of character. Don’t hesitate.
Uncertainty becomes confidence. Left to our own devices, we are never quite sure if we’re doing the right thing or moving in the right direction. We agonize over our many decisions, doing everything we can to minimize the chance of error. Life seems to come at us from all directions and at break-neck speed. We become overwhelmed, lost, and confused. The ultimate GPS (God’s Positioning Service, in our case) is only a prayer away. God never loses His place, and He never loses your place in His plan. Seek wisdom from other followers of Christ, from older folks, and your peers when faced with a decision. Above all else, pray over any decision you must make. Tell Jesus of your desire to serve Him in every way and ask for His wisdom in the situation you face. After this, the next step is easy: choose! Gather what wisdom you can; come clean to God regarding your uncertainty, doubt and confusion. Then make a decision. God knows your heart and He will honor your search for wisdom. Seek Him first, and then relax. Move forward with confidence.
We are the called, we are the chosen; we are the revolutionaries of God. We are to be His agents of change in this world. Let us devote our lives fully to Him. Only then can we follow Him on the path He walks before us. Love God, love people. His power is available to each of us; we must simply ask Him for it. Through His power we can follow Jesus courageously, without fear, with boldness, and with utter confidence. Through His power we can change the world. Here’s to revolution!