005 SPIRIT-INSPIRED BOLDNESS
Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
The third qualification for demonstrating authority over rulers and authorities in the spiritual realm is boldness. A Spirit-filled Christian is characterized by a true, godly sense of courage and boldness in spiritual warfare. On the eve of taking authority over the Promised Land, Joshua was challenged four times to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18). When the early church prayed about their mission of sharing the gospel in Jerusalem, 'the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness' (Acts 4:31). Spirit-inspired boldness is behind every successful advance in the church today.
The opposite of boldness is cowardice, fear and unbelief. Notice what God thinks about these characteristics:
I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murders and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:6-8).
That's pretty serious - cowards lined up at the lake of fire alongside murderers, sorcerers and idolaters! It should serve to motivate us to exercise authority with boldness (2 Timothy 1:7).
A lot of Christians I meet fear the dark side of the spiritual world. It's true that a little knowledge can be a dangerous and frightful thing, but a growing knowledge of the truth is liberating. Seminary students have told me, "I used to be afraid of that stuff, but now I know who I am in Christ, and I'm not afraid anymore." That's exactly the perception we should have.
Lord, increase my courage to light candles of truth and dispel the darkness in Your name. I will fear only You today, not the enemy.
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