“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 (NIV)
Does standing fearless mean you are never afraid to stand? I hope not. If so, I’m disqualified. Even the great Apostle Paul spoke of bouts of fear that he wrestled with in his life. Standing fearless doesn’t mean you are never afraid but that you take your fears to God and you stand despite those fears when you know it is His will.
When Paul was on his second missionary journey and entered the thriving city of Corinth for the first time, he admitted, “I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling.” (1 Cor. 2:3, NLT) His experience gives us insight into how we can stand fearless even when we are afraid. How did Paul do it? In the very next verse he tells us, “I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.” It was God’s power not will power that enabled Paul to leave an eternal footprint in this city. Despite his fears, Paul stepped out in faith and took his stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t smooth sailing either. He was met with opposition and insult in the synagogue where he spoke until he had to move next door and set up a house church in the home of a Gentile who worshipped God. Yet, because Paul stood fearless, there were many who put their faith in Christ including the synagogue ruler and everyone in his house! Acts 18: 8 tells us, “Many others in Corinth also heard Paul, became believers, and were baptized.” It goes on to tell us that he stayed there for the next year and a half “teaching the Word of God.”
This is only one of many stories of great men and women in the Bible who stood fearless leaving an eternal footprint for generations to come! Moses, David, Elijah, Esther, Daniel, Peter, Stephen and James are among many others whose lives inspire us to stand fearless. What are you facing today that is challenging your faith to stand? You know what you need to do but feel powerless to do it. It would be so easy to simply compromise your faith, but inside you are tired of giving in. That’s how Rosa Parks felt when she refused to give up her seat on a bus one Thursday evening, December 1, 1955. “The bus driver told Rosa and three other black people in her row to give up their seats to a white man because blacks and whites could not sit together in the same row. The other three blacks got up, but Rosa decided it was time to stand up for herself, and she refused to move. Her stand eventually led to the US Supreme Court ruling on December 20, 1956 that the bus company’s segregation rules were unconstitutional and therefore illegal. Some people have called Rosa Parks ‘the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement’ because people read about her stand and began to follow her example. In 1996, President Clinton presented Rosa with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. After her death, her casket was placed in the rotunda of the United States Capitol for two days so the nation could pay its respects to the woman whose courage had changed the lives of so many. She had been proof that the act of one person can change the world.” (exert from They Stood Alone; S.M. Humphrey)
What kind of eternal footprint will you leave? To stand fearless, you must know you are not standing alone. You are standing with Christ. It is God’s power, not will power that will enable you to take your stand. Stand fearless in Him!