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Timid for too long

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And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness (Acts 4:29).

The post Timid for too long appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

by Pastor Steve Liersch

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And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness (Acts 4:29).

Read Acts 4:23–31

Fear stops a lot of good things from happening. Sometimes that fear is justified as it can instil a cautious approach that recognises danger or unnecessary risk. Think of playing sport without the proper training or at a level that is way beyond the ability of the participant. Think of driving a vehicle on public roads in peak hour traffic without ever having driven before. Think of giving a knife to a two-year-old to prepare their own snack. Yes, these might be extreme situations because we know what is likely to happen if we just let the situation unfold. Different people will also have differing opinions on what is an unnecessary risk and avoiding danger.

Jesus’ disciples could well have taken the same approach when they were commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). If they thought about it for too long and didn’t trust Jesus and his promises to be with them always to the very end of the age, they might well have remembered what happened to John the Baptist, who was beheaded for speaking God’s word into Herod’s life (Mark 6:14–29).

Fear and risk aversion could well have held them back from reaching their potential as God’s servants, helping the early church to emerge in a hostile and ungodly culture. (Sound familiar?)

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A couple of years down the track, Peter and John were better equipped following their intensive training with Jesus. They saw firsthand how Jesus went about his ministry, despite knowing the dangers that ultimately cost Jesus’ life in obedience to carry out his Heavenly Father’s will here on earth.

Prison and a severe telling off by the authorities were just the beginning of them facing the risks for their Master. However, their response is worth noting: ‘They raised their voices together in prayer to God’ (verse 24). They praised God for who he is and what he has done through the power of the Holy Spirit and recounted the things God had done previously despite opposition (verse 27).

On reflection, they also modelled a prayer that we, too, need to pray more often, ‘Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus’. This prayer adds another dimension to the prayer Jesus has given us, ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ and ‘Deliver us from evil’.

Prayer to our Almighty God in the face of opposition places the task before the One, who, in turn, will enable us to face any fear or opposition with his blessing. What’s stopping you now from doing likewise?

Can you identify any fears you might have in stepping out of your comfort zone and trusting God?

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Lord Jesus, please forgive my misplaced fear of not trusting you in the face of opposition. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon me and all your servants so we can be used in small and great ways to help further your kingdom here on earth. Amen.


The post Timid for too long appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

Source: Lutheran Church of Australia https://www.lca.org.au/timid-for-too-long/

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