Walk BOLDLY by Faith

Over the last several months, the word bold has continued to appear in different aspects of my life, primarily regarding ministry and my personal relationship with Christ. Dictionary.com defines bold as not hesitating, having courage, and being daring. As I have meditated on this word, it has been in the context of acting boldly out of faith.

A little over a year ago, I sat down with the former committee chair of Portland East Young Life and the direct ministry coordinator in hopes of joining their area as a staff associate upon graduating from Fox. Although we all shared the same vision, as months pasted it became apparent that I could not become apart of the existing Young Life area. However, the regional leadership team was willing to be creative with my desire and calling to bring the ministry of Capernaum to east Portland. Instead of bringing me on staff in the existing area, we would create a new area and bring me as an associate in a director type role. Now I have wanted to be in an area director role with Young Life since God called me to full time ministry, but i was expecting a couple more years of training before I was put in charge of an area, let alone plant one! Just like with the start of Capernaum in Newberg, the hour before drifting off to sleep was filled with some pretty intense conversation between God and I. After weeks of staying up at night, I felt that God say “Blake, I have given you my vision for east Portland, now be bold and follow me!” In response to this, just as I said a year prior, “I’m afraid and not the most equipped, but where you go I will follow.”

As I’ve continued to think about, and at times struggled with, the idea of being bold in our faith, I look to the Word for insight and encouragement. Below is a story out of 1 Samuel. 1 Samuel 14:1-15 reads:

One day Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to where the Philistines have their outpost.” But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing. Meanwhile, Saul and his 600 men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree at Migron. Among Saul’s men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the ephod, the priestly vest. Ahijah was the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord who had served at Shiloh.No one realized that Jonathan had left the Israelite camp. To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh. The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba. “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” “Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.” “All right then,” Jonathan told him. “We will cross over and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.” When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, “Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!” Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!” “Come on, climb right behind me,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “for the Lord will help us defeat them!” So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed those who came behind them. They killed some twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre. Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, both in the camp and in the field, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified.

I love this story because these two young Hebrews had an incredible amount of faith. However, what I find comforting is the hint of uncertainty in Jonathan’s speech to his armor-bearer. Jonathan says, “PERHAPS the Lord will helps us.” Jonathan isn’t doubting God’s ability to help, he’s just hoping that the Lord will show up. As I reflect on this passage, I can’t help but think that we have it much better then Jonathan did. See, we have something Jonathan didn’t! We have Christ’s holy spirit living in us! Therefore we can say with certainty “The Lord WILL help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord!”

It is now five months after my doubts about my ability to run an Young Life area and I’ve found that my fears are valid. I have no ability to do anything apart from He who has called me. My fear is still present, in fact I’m terrified. However, my fear does not paralyze me; it drive me to press onward towards the goal. As long as I keep my eyes on him and realize that He is beside me all the way, I don’t have to worry. Although God will continue to reveal the meaning of being bold in faith, I will offer my conclusion as of now. Although you’re terrified and unsure of what the future may hold, tuning into where the Holy Spirit is leading you and going for it wholeheartedly!

“I will walk by faith even when I cannot see.” – Jeremy Camp

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