This year, the QHOP team is studying 7 habits of a biblical lifestyle. Each week, a different member of the QHOP community shares what it means to practice one of these habits. These 7 habits are originally found in Mike Bickle’s book, “7 Commitments of a Forerunner.” These 7 habits are:
- Pray Daily
- Fast Weekly
- Do Justly
- Give Extravagantly
- Live Holy
- Lead Diligently
- Speak Boldly
On October 8, Randy Janzen preached on “Speak Boldly.” Here is a sample of his message.
The verse I want to focus on today is Romans 1:16.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.
When we read Romans 1, we can see that in the culture of Paul’s time, people were largely consumed with themselves rather than God. This same mentality is prevalent in today’s culture here in North America. But if we want to speak boldly, our hearts must draw closer to God.
In My Weakness, He Is Strong
I’ve struggled with stuttering for most of my life. I used to be terrified to speak in front of a group of people because as soon as I opened my mouth to speak, the stuttering would begin. I would get frustrated with myself because of this stuttering, which would cause me to stutter more. It became a vicious cycle.
When I focused on my weakness, it exasperated the problem. But now I realize that in my weakness, God shows his strength.
We all have different challenges and struggles, but we have a choice. We can be crippled by the fear this challenge presents to us or we can realize that we are not defined by those challenges. We are defined by who God says we are. We can know that in our weaknesses we are strong, not because of who we are but because of who God is and what he is doing in our lives.
I don’t want to be fixated on the obstacles that prevent me from being able to fully live out what God as put in my life. Over time, through prayer and seeking God, God has shown me just how powerful he truly is. And it is in that understanding that we can speak boldly of him.
You will face Trials
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
The Bible tells us that if we follow Jesus and speak boldly, we will face trials and persecution. We will go through difficult times and it will be hard to stay strong. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, he will help us.
A friend of mine recently sent me a video about a teacher who went to China. He asked a student to read a large portion of scripture and the student stood and quoted it by heart. The teacher was stunned and humbled that these students loved the Lord so much that they had dedicated themselves and committed much of the Word to memory. These students had already spent an average of 3 years in prison for their faith.
He asked them, “Don’t they take away your Bibles when we go to prison?” The students explained that they would take a little bit of paper are write as much scripture as they could fit on it. “But won’t they take that away?” the teacher asked. “Of course,” they replied. “That’s why we memorize as much of it as quickly as possible.” These students weren’t thinking about their circumstances. Their focus was on their love for God.
When we face trials, how often do we say, “Lord, just save me from this trial”? Right away, our focus is on how badly we want to get out of this bad situation and move on. We shouldn’t keep our focus on these negative circumstances. We should know that as long as we are following Christ and as long as our focus is on him, it shouldn’t matter if we lose our very lives. We will have all eternity with him.
We need to realize that God is so far above anything that could come our way. When we have that confidence, then we will be able to speak boldly, to go out and share what God has put on our hearts.
The Holy Spirit made them Bold
The biggest example we have of speaking boldly is the disciples. Before they received the Holy Spirit, they were afraid, hiding from the authorities. But when the day of Pentecost came, the Holy Spirit came and their lives were changed forever.
After the disciples received the Holy Spirit, they were fearless. They went out and spoke boldly about Christ. It didn’t matter if they were thrown into prison, whipped, or threatened. They knew who they were in Christ. They knew that even if they were to lose their very lives they had all eternity to spend with God.
The Urgency of our Message
When we look at the times and see what is going on, we know that the return of Jesus is coming soon. We need to go out there now. We need to share the hope living inside of us. There is a world out there that is desperate to know just how truly they are loved by God. And we have this living hope inside us.
My prayer and hope is that we will spend that intimate time of prayer with God daily. I pray that we will know the heart of God because if we want to speak about him we need to know his heart. We need to read the Word of God and meditate on it so his Word will grow deep in our hearts.
And when we pray, let us come first in silence before God and ask him to reveal what he wants to put on our hearts. When we come before him and listen, he will reveal to us what he wants us to say.
I might not be as eloquent in speech as someone else, but the thing is, it’s not about me. It’s about coming to God, reading his Word, meditating on the Word and internalizing it, and having a heart-to-heart conversation with God. And when we do that, it will be the Holy Spirit who will be speaking boldly through us.