The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on “African Identity, Dignity and Justice in the 21st Century.” This Tuesday, October 20, 2020, our theme is “Boldness and Courage.”
Boldness and courage are two sides of the same coin. We will define courage as standing up for your convictions despite what this may cost you, while boldness is acting fearlessly in the face of danger. Both words have to do with taking a firm position against opposition based on the strength of an inner force. In both cases, the fear factor has been pushed to the background.
Made in the image of God, Adam and Eve were given a fourfold commission: to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth, to subdue it and to have dominion over every living thing in the seas, in the air and on land. As long as their fellowship with God remained, they were able to exercise this mandate. A sad factor occurs in the Fall where through disobedience, fear is introduced to humanity. Thereafter, man is unable to act with courage and boldness. Yet, throughout the Old Testament, we have numerous examples where men and women were able to act with courage and boldness: Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, David, the prophets, Esther, Daniel, Shadrach/Meshach/Abed-Nego and many others. On each occasion, it was the enablement of the Spirit of God upon them once they lined themselves up with the word of God.
In the New Testament, the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, dealt with the fear of death that had haunted all before and released a boldness that enabled the disciples to bear witness to the risen Christ (Acts 4:12). Paul would later say to the Romans (8:11) that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwelt in them and He would quicken their mortal bodies. He would remind Timothy that we had not been given a Spirit of fear but of power, of love and a sound mind (2 Timothy1:7). Church history would also be filled with numerous examples of how believers, filled with the Holy Spirit, would lay their lives down boldly and courageously as they battled forces that sought to stand against their witness (Hebrews 11). The game has not changed today. As he did with Adam and Eve, as he did with David through Goliath and many since, the devil issues the challenge: “Give me a man that we might fight together.” Paul reminds the church today that we are at war and that we will require the full armor of God to be able to resist the wiles of the enemy. Knowing his time is limited, the devil has released his full arsenal against the people of God’s kingdom. Boldness and courage are needed for us to push against the gates of hell.
Boldness and courage are needed to stand against the evils of our day: political correctness, social injustices, racial prejudice, moral decadence and spiritual bankruptcy. Sin and compromise in the church have diluted our witness as the salt of the earth and dimmed our ability to shine as the light of the world. The fight for truth rages on in every dominion of our society and the call for God’s people to rise up with courage and boldness has never been stronger and more urgent. Africa is being enticed with all kinds of trinkets to join the world chorus to remove God out of the public into the private sphere. Paul challenges us to fight the good fight, to finish the race and to keep the faith to the end (2 Timothy 4:7). Peter encourages us to defend the gospel through being ready always to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1Peter3:15). We need to state unequivocally that we believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That we believe in the Bible as God’s word to mankind. That we believe in the Church as the Body and Bride of Christ in the world and that we believe and look forward to the promised second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the judgments. In the world we live in, it will take courage and boldness to declare all this. Hence our prayer; “Come Holy Spirit, we need you. Come, sweet Spirit, we pray. Come in Thy strength and Thy power. Come, in Thine own gentle way”!
Thank you, Lord for calling each of us to a life of boldness and courage as we stand in the face of today’s evils.
Lord, show us at every turn in our lives how to be bold and courageous. As we call on the Holy Spirit to intervene, help us to fight the good fight and to always give a reason for our beliefs.
Lord God embolden those involved with AFReG and all other Christians to live our lives as bold witnesses of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to call out the wrong, name it and do what we can to right it.