By: Kenneth E. Hagin
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but THE RIGHTEOUS ARE BOLD AS A LION. –Proverbs 28:1
Sometimes we hear people in the Christian community say, “If we only had enough faith and power, we could get the job done of preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth.” But it isn’t scriptural to pray for more faith and power. Spirit-filled believers already have the spiritual equipment they need to do the job. But do you know the reason many people don’t fulfill their responsibility of furthering the Kingdom of God? They are just not bold enough to step out and proclaim the truth of the gospel.
As believers, we already have faith, for God has given each of us a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3). Believers don’t need to pray for faith. But God has instructed us how to increase the faith He already gave us: “. . . faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom.
10:17). Believers can increase their faith by feeding on God’s Word and by exercising their faith through acting on God’s Word.
And if we’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit, we don’t need to pray for more power. We already have the power of God because we are filled with the Powerhouse – the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). What we really need is the boldness to proclaim that we have the Powerhouse in us. We need the boldness to proclaim that our faith in God’s Word works!
As I said, it is not scriptural for believers to pray for faith and power, but it is scriptural to pray for boldness. In Acts chapter 4 we see the boldness displayed by the disciples and we see that the Early Church prayed for boldness.
Earlier in Acts chapter 3, the Bible relates how Peter and John had ministered to the crippled man at the Gate called Beautiful, and the man had been miraculously healed (Acts 3:1-8). Then Peter and John were taken before the high priest and other Jewish elders for questioning (Acts 4:1-7).
Regardless of the risk of personal anger, Peter and John were bold to preach about Jesus to the council of elders. Peter was bold to say to
those men, “. . . Be it known unto you all. . . that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the
dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole” (Acts 4:10)! And verse 13 shows the effect of their bold testimony for Jesus:
13 Now when they [the Jewish elders] saw the BOLDNESS of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and THEY TOOK KNOWLEDGE OF THEM, THAT THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS.
After the council of elders commanded Peter and John not to preach anymore in the Name of Jesus, the apostles were let go and they returned to their own company of believers. Despite the elders’ threats, those believers prayed for boldness as they lifted up their voices with one accord to God.
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all BOLDNESS they may speak thy word.
Thank God, that prayer was answered! Verse 31 shows us God’s answer to their prayer.
31 And WHEN THEY HAD PRAYED, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with BOLDNESS.
Then in Ephesians 6, we see Paul asking the Church at Ephesus to pray for boldness to be given to him in preaching the Word. Notice that this great man of God, this apostle of the faith, this man who wrote almost half of the New Testament, said, “Pray for me for bold utterance to proclaim the gospel”!
19 [Praying] . . . for me, that utterance may be given unto me, THAT I MAY OPEN MY MOUTH BOLDLY, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: THAT THEREIN I MAY SPEAK BOLDLY, as I ought to speak.
So we see that the Early Church prayed for boldness to preach the Word and that Paul asked other believers to pray for him to boldly proclaim the gospel. You also should pray for God to give you boldness in your spiritual walk. The more you pray and thank God for boldness, the bolder you will become.
We read earlier that the Bible says, “. . . the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1). Believers should have boldness in three different
worlds. Our boldness should be exercised toward heaven, toward earth, and toward hell. Heaven, earth, and hell should behold our boldness in Christ!
First, let’s talk about having boldness heavenward. The Bible says that in Christ we can come boldly before the Father.
12 In whom [Jesus] WE HAVE BOLDNESS and ACCESS with CONFIDENCE by the faith of him. HEBREWS 4:16
16 Let us therefore come BOLDLY unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us come BOLDLY. . . . ” Why can we boldly approach the throne of grace? It is all because of the blood of Jesus Christ that we can have access to the throne of Heaven: “Having therefore, brethren, BOLDNESS to enter the holiest BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS . . . ” (Heb. 10:19). Thank God, because of Jesus’ blood, the Father’s throne of mercy and grace is open to us!
Because of the blood of Jesus, we can stand boldly in the Presence of God Almighty, our Heavenly Father, as though we had never done anything wrong. That is the way the Father looks at us because the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from sin (1 John 1:7,9) and has made us whole. The Bible says that we have actually become God’s righteousness in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
Just as believers don’t need to pray for faith, believers don’t need to pray for righteousness either. If you are a new creature in Christ, you can’t be any more righteous than you are right now, for you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. You won’t be any more righteous, or any more right with God when you get to heaven than you are right now. You don’t need to pray for righteousness; as a believer, you are the righteousness of God in Christ!
When we stand boldly before God in the knowledge that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, the answer to our prayer is guaranteed. We can know with bold confidence that heaven hears us! The Father hears us when we pray just as quickly as He heard Jesus pray when He was on earth, because we have become the righteousness of God in Christ.
Often folks think that God’s throne of mercy is only to be approached for the forgiveness of their sins. And it is true that if we have
sinned, we caw come boldly, not arrogantly, before the Father’s throne to find mercy and grace – God’s unmerited favor. But the mercy of God extends further than just to the forgiveness of sins. God’s mercy is also extended to heal His people.
The same merciful and compassionate Jesus who healed people while He walked this earth is now seated at the right hand of the Father’s throne of grace (Heb. 1:3). That means we can come boldly to that throne for healing as well as for the forgiveness of sins (Heb. 4:16).
Yes, we can be bold about it! So many believers are not bold about approaching God for healing. They might even try to talk you out of
coming boldly before God, saying, “Yes, God is still merciful. He will forgive your sins. But it might not be God’s will to heal you.”
But what about God’s healing mercies? Jesus was the express image of the Father (Heb. 1:3), and He was continually revealing the Father’s will to heal people as He ministered here on earth. But Jesus is the same compassionate, merciful Jesus now that He was when He walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He hasn’t lost His healing mercies!
If you are sick, cry out for mercy! Come boldly to the throne of grace. Come boldly to obtain the Lord’s healing mercies!
Second, we are to be bold earthward. We are to be bold to proclaim the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to people on this earth.
According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, one definition of the Greek word translated as “bold” is to dare to do.
Sometimes you just have to step out and dare to proclaim the truth of God. When you do that, it may cause some persecution, but it is also going to produce results!
Let’s look at Paul’s ministry in the Book of Acts and see the results of his bold proclamation of the Word of God. Remember, Paul later asked other believers to pray for him that he might speak the Word boldly.
26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had PREACHED BOLDLY at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
29 And he SPAKE BOLDLY in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: BUT THEY WENT ABOUT TO SLAY HIM.
Notice, when Paul preached boldly in the Name of Jesus, the Grecians “. . . went about to slay him” (v. 29). Religious people get disturbed
when you get bold about the things of God!
Then in Acts chapter 14, we see a positive result of Paul and Barnabus boldly proclaiming the gospel.
3 Long time therefore abode they SPEAKING BOLDLY IN THE LORD, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted SIGNS AND WONDERS to be done by their hands.
So we see that preaching the Word boldly in the Name of Jesus primarily produces two results: First, persecution. Second, signs and wonders.
You see, Jesus will back you up when you boldly proclaim the truth of the gospel. Preach the Word and you will see God move, for He will
confirm the Word with signs and wonders. But it takes boldness to do that! Some people may call you a fanatic, but you have to dare to
preach the Word, no matter what the opposition!
Be bold to use the Name of Jesus! Proclaim the truth on this earth that Jesus has all the authority and power He ever had, and that all of His authority and power is invested in His mighty Name!
Third, our boldness must extend hellward. We must be able to stand in the presence of the devil and his demons and boldly put them on the run in the Name of Jesus! Stand strong in the power of His might (Eph. 6:10), and don’t allow the devil to overcome you!
Too many times believers are not bold when it comes to declaring their victory over the devil in Jesus’ Name. The reason they are not is that they don’t know who they are in Christ. Because they don’t know their rights and privileges in Christ, they begin to look at the circumstances and feel overwhelmed by the enemy’s strategies against them.
They don’t know that in Jesus they have boldness and confidence to approach the Father with freedom and without fear (Eph. 3:12);
therefore, they have absolute boldness to stand against Satan in the Name of Jesus.
But, thank God, you don’t need to have any fear of the devil or any of his works! Also, stop looking at yourself from the natural standpoint. Don’t look at your weaknesses and shortcomings. Begin to realize that you are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21), and therefore you have the right to use the Name of Jesus boldly against the devil.
We are to be bold toward the devil, demons, sickness, disease, poverty, and every work of darkness. Because of who we are in Christ, we can boldly stand in the presence of the devil without fear and say, “Satan, I take authority over you in my life in the Name of Jesus. You are a defeated foe!” (Matt. 18:18; Phil. 2:9,10; Col. 2:15).
Dare to boldly proclaim: “God’s Word is working for me. I am not afraid. I have no fear in Jesus’ Name. Jesus is risen from the dead! All the authority Jesus exercised upon the earth is invested in His Name, and that Name belongs to me. All of heaven recognizes the authority in that Name. And, devil, so must you!”
When the enemy comes against us and we are tempted to feel overwhelmed by circumstances surrounding us, we need to remember God’s exhortation to His people throughout the Word to “be strong and be of good courage” (Joshua 1:6,7; Ps. 27:14; 31:24). That’s another way of saying, “Be bold. ” If you are bold, then you are of good courage.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say “Be discouraged, then you are not in line with the Word. You might say, “But things don’t seem to be working out.”
Stop looking at circumstances. Don’t go by what you see. That isn’t faith. Be bold to live by what you believe according to God’s Word.
Continually pray for more boldness, and always speak bold words of faith that are in line with the Word of God.
Tell yourself, “I will be of good courage. I refuse to be discouraged. I am not moved by what I see. I am moved only by what I believe, and I believe God and His Word. God’s purpose shall be fulfilled in my life according to that which God has spoken!
“I will be bolder than ever before! I will be bold to pray and to come before the throne of my Father with petitions for myself and for others who do not know how to approach the throne. I will be bold to come against the devil and his works in the Name of Jesus. And despite any opposition, I will be bold to proclaim the gospel to those who do not know the truth.”
In times past, I didn’t understand, as I do now, the importance of praying for more boldness. Having realized this truth, I began to ask the Lord to make me bold. And the longer I live, the bolder I get!
Understand, when I proclaim the truth of God’s Word, I’m not bragging on myself. I am only boldly declaring who I am in Jesus. I am proclaiming my right standing in Him, and I am bragging on His righteousness.
I will never back down from boldly proclaiming the truth of the gospel even in the face of criticism. I will never compromise boldly preaching God’s Word! You, too, can make that same determined decision!
Be bold to go before the Father’s throne and obtain mercy and grace as one of His righteous children!
Never stop proclaiming to the world that Jesus has provided redemption– spirit, soul, and body — for all who will believe.
Know that God has given you authority over all the work of the enemy and victory for every circumstance in the Name of Jesus (Luke 10:19; 2 Cor. 2:14). Be bold to stand in your authority, to walk in your victory, and to proclaim that your faith in God’s Word works!
(The above material appeared in a March 1991 issue of The World of Faith.)
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