I (Melissa) have been spending a lot of time this week thinking about whether or not I can truly be bold (see Monday’s devotional for a bit more context). During this time, I’ve found myself focusing some of my thoughts on a character from my favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz.
I found myself relating a little too closely with the Cowardly Lion – particularly when it comes to being bold in my faith.
As a quick refresher for those of you who may not have seen the movie or may not remember it as well as I, the Cowardly Lion was scared of nearly everything and would not step forward for anything even though his species was known to be one of the bravest in the forest. The one thing that would make his life better, he thought, was a good dose of courage. And so he was off to see the wizard (along with his friends) because surely an all-powerful wizard could give him what he felt he was lacking.
In the end, he learned from the wizard that he actually possessed courage all along; he just hadn’t looked deep enough to discover it. And once the wizard helped him believe this to be true of him, he gave the Cowardly Lion a medal, an outward reminder of his courage and his ability to be bold.
As I thought about this scene, I wondered whether this could be true for me, too.
Could there be even just an ounce of courage within me?
How could I discover it?
And, even more so, how could I continually remind myself of this?
Proverbs 28:1 states that “the righteous are as bold as a lion.” And 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that “the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
So it is true. As a Christ follower, I possess the courage to be bold.
That courage is unleashed when I pray that God will help me to embrace opportunities to be bold. Just as Paul did.
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel..." (Ephesians 6:19)
And my “medal?” My reminder of this courage? The promise that God is there with every bold step I take.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
So what does this mean practically? How can I live out this boldness, the result of my newfound courage?
Here’s where I'm starting:
I’m reminding myself that not all my actions need to be big to be bold. But they DO need to be actions. So instead of waiting for opportunities to be bold to drop in my lap, I want to seize them as they present themselves.
In the spirit of full transparency, I need to tell you that, in fact, a number of opportunities as outlined above have already presented themselves this week.
Have I handled them all flawlessly? Of course not!
Am I becoming more aware of the opportunities I have to be bold in even my day to day? Absolutely!
And am I unleashing indescribable amounts of courage gifted to me by the Holy Spirit with every bold step I take (even the seemingly small ones)? Without a doubt.
And I pray that the steps will just keep getting bigger.
What about you? What bold steps have you taken this week? How will you walk with even more boldness next week?