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Have you ever found yourself in this place? You have a friend that you want to tell about Jesus. You know that they don’t have a relationship with God but have never had the courage to bring it up. Every time that you start to work up the confidence, your thoughts are flooded with “What if they think I’m weird?”, “What if I don’t know what to say?” or “What if they stop being my friend?” Ultimately, you decide that it’s better not to say anything. You’re frustrated with yourself because you know what you need to do, but you don’t have the boldness to do it.
If you resonate with that scenario, then know that you’re not alone. When we come to Acts 4, we find the early church in a situation where they need boldness. Except for them, the stakes are higher. If they share Christ, they wouldn’t just be losing a friend…they could lose their lives. The Jewish ruling council had just given the order that Peter, John, and the church could no longer speak in the name of Jesus. If they broke this charge, it could result in a beating, imprisonment, or even death.
For most people, if they hear a threat like that, they would start praying for God to remove the opposition. What the church did was completely different. They did not pray for God to remove their problem; instead, they prayed for boldness. The incredible reality about this account is that God immediately answered their prayer. What was God’s answer to their prayer for boldness? The baptism of the Holy Spirit. Every person in that meeting was filled with the Holy Spirit, which enabled them to speak the word of God boldly.
So what will give you the boldness to share Christ with that friend, neighbor, or that worker at the grocery store? The baptism of the Holy Spirit. God’s desire is that we would be able to share Christ with anyone, at any time, and in any place. If you’re not able to do that, then you need the Holy Spirit!
As we’re in this season of prayer and fasting, it’s the perfect opportunity to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you’ve never been filled, then start to make it a focus in your prayer time. If you have been filled but don’t have the boldness to witness, then God wants to refill you full to overflowing. As we are filled with the Holy Spirit, God will give us the boldness to go out and share the Gospel. As we do, we will see revival break out in our cities, our nation, and the world!
Acts 4:29-31 (NIV)
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.