Today we’re training our team that is going to Cambodia to minister to
girls caught in the sex trade. And frankly, if I were them, I’d be intimidated. They face a lot of obstacles: They don’t
know the language or the culture. Everything will be new.
There is a lot of reason for them to operate out of fear. And why not? A plague
of fear seems to be seizing many in our country. Fear keeps us from taking the step to go to the next level. Fear says,
“You’re never going to make it.” Fear locks you in place.
So we’ve been speaking to them about boldness. The antidote to fear is boldness. Boldness pushes into new places. Boldness doesn’t look back and doesn’t worry.
When Jesus was being crucified, even his best disciples, Peter and John walked in fear. They’d given up.
But in Acts 4, we see something has changed. The rulers of the law are
continuing to try to intimidate them, but their weapons no longer work. Peter and John
pray, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to
speak your word with great boldness.” (v 29)
God answers that prayer spectacularly: “The place where they were
meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and
and spoke the word of God boldly.” Thousands came to Christ. Miracles
happened. They confronted their enemies. And “no one claimed that any of
his possessions was his own.”
What changed? I see five things Peter and John had that released boldness:
1. Identity. They knew they were deeply loved. When you know who
you are in Christ, then you don’t have to hold back, boldness comes
2. Hearing God’s voice. They had the word of the Lord. When you
hear what God wants done, you act with greater authority. Obedience
comes more easily once you’ve heard God.
3. Confidence in the message. Given what they’d experienced, they
couldn’t hold back. They’d been set free and knew the power of that
message to set others free.
4. Confidence in team members. They’d been together in extended
prayer and had come together in unity. Knowing their brothers had their
backs, they were further emboldened.
5. Experience. Because they’d received the Holy Spirit, they
spoke with boldness. The Spirit empowers us. Having seen the results of
that empowerment, boldness comes. We become confident once we’ve seen a
The members of the Cambodia team have determined to lead with boldness as they move into new territory. God wants you, his child, to move forward in the same way. Whatever you’re facing, is it producing the fruit of fear or boldness?