4 times in Joshua 1 God told Joshua to be bold, strong, very courageous, to not fear, be terrified or be anxious. It was the attitude of a leader about to embrace a new promised destiny.
Any remarkable destiny will require boldness.
And I believe we are in a season of remarkable boldness right now. Many churches, families and individuals are “crossing over” into a new stage of destiny called “fulfillment”. Time to stop dreaming. Time to start doing!
Maybe (as my family once experienced) it’s the boldness of leaving everything – job, country, home, church – to obey God. Overcoming homelessness and without any human surety, my family stepped out, to step in, to a promised “mission land” destiny in God abroad.
Maybe it’s stepping out to trust God to buy something for God’s work that you can’t afford. Maybe it’s a job or career change, a church move, a mission opportunity, a new ministry area. All require boldness.
But how do you know if it’s God speaking, and not just too much pizza the night before? Here’s a few hints:
First, let me note, The most common WRONG drives behind a bold move would be things like a mid-life “boredom crisis!” (I have endless of these!). But they are usually my insecurities at work, not God’s wisdom. Anything driven by boredom, pride, ego (the source of most pain & sin!), envy and comparison to what others are doing or have, is going to get you in trouble and make you rush ahead of God. Always put that stuff at the feet of Jesus, and find a restful place. You need to hear God, not your inner self whining.
Use an inner crisis that asks “Am I doing enough with my life?” as a launch pad to go and hear God – don’t make mad, bold, inappropriate moves.
Here are the tests to see if it is God:
1) PEACE – James 3:17 shows us God’s wisdom is full of peace. Do you genuinely feel deeply at peace, that God is speaking to you. Get a pad and pen and write down what you actually think God is saying. (Be careful to read what He actually says, not a desired interpretation of it. E.g. “You shall go out with joy” may not mean that you are to date a girl called Joy!)
2) PRESENCE – Sometimes we become doubtful, even if it’s God. But while we may worry and fret when we look at the facts, the risks and the possible errors, think more about what God says when you’re in His presence in prayer and worship. Wisdom is found in worship.
3) WORD – Remember God is never going to go against His word. So He’s not telling you to steal a car, or get a divorce. He won’t go against his own nature. So measure the issue at hand against the Bible.
4) COUNSEL OF MANY – “Victory is assured with the counsel of many” Proverbs 15:22. But only tell the right people. Mature people. People who have gone through a few “bold step” seasons themselves. Don’t tell jealous brothers, but do talk to experienced fathers.
5) TIMING – Knowing the “what” of God’s will is quite easy. Knowing the “when” is another matter. Most people are trying to run way ahead of God. So relax and just listen. When it’s right, it will come to fruition.
Your day of boldness will come, whether it’s this year, or another. So prepare for it in word, worship and relationships. You’re going to need all the help you can get!