Perhaps you are like me and nothing inspires you more than a story of boldness.
A protagonist who is facing what seems to be an impossible situation, yet is able to overcome and triumph with amazing rewards and results. One of my favorite movies is the Lord of the Rings, the plot line focuses on the unassuming hobbit Frodo and his charming companion Samwise.
Frodo and Samwise experience a journey unlike any other in a quest to return peace and goodness back to their world by destroying an evil ring. Unlike the other characters in this story, Frodo and Samwise lack many of the qualities we would associate with heroism, they are not talented in fighting battles, extraordinarily intelligent or even experienced in overcoming evil. But they have willing hearts and a great deal of courage. These are often the most important qualities for people who achieve amazing results in the face of impossible odds.
So what are the impossible odds in your life, those challenges and struggles that seem insurmountable or impossible to overcome? Those issues that can put a dark cloud over the landscape of your life so much so that you begin to believe the sun will never come out again. There are times where those situations require you to do the opposite of your instincts, to do the unthinkable and the unexplainable by acting in boldness.
Boldness is just in a word unforgettable, it has the potential to leave an indelible impression on the minds and lives of those who experience it. T
he Bible is chock full of testimonies of boldness of people who trust God in the midst of insurmountable obstacles like famine, death, captivity, handicaps and powerful armies.
One of the most lauded examples of boldness and my personal favorite is the story of David and Goliath. When the story begins, the Israelites and Philistines are at war, the Philistines send their best warrior, Goliath, a giant experienced in the art of battle and combat. The Israelites must now send their best warrior to fight Goliath with the winner achieving victory for his whole kingdom. But, there is a problem, every Israelite warrior including King Saul are absolutely terrified by Goliath and refuse to fight him.
Enter David, a naive yet confident young shepherd who by all outward appearances seems to be the absolute worst person to square off against the feared Goliath. But, unlike the other warriors, David volunteers, he actively seeks an opportunity to fight and beat Goliath. After some discussion and bargaining, David gets his wish and confronts Goliath with his own weapons of choice, a shepherd’s staff, sling and five smooth stones.
And then the impossible happens, David slings a stone at Goliath, kills him and wins the battle for Israel. I can only imagine the shock and awe that followed not just from Israel but the Philistine nation as well.
There is an unsettling that takes place when the impossible is achieved, it shakes the very foundation of our consciousness and our way of seeing the world, it bangs out doors where there were previously only steel walls. That is the power of boldness and operating in the power of God to achieve the unimaginable for His glory.
To understand what David was able to accomplish in this pivotal moment in his life, we have to understand the makings of David, the makings of this boldness.
Isolation with God. David’s profession was a shepherd, as a result, he spent a lot of time in isolation away from people with just sheep and God. Alone time with God is so important to creating a spirit of boldness. When alone, God has the time to speak to you, change you and shape you into the person He has called you to be. The person He has called you to be is like Him and yes, God is powerful, loving and giving but He is also a rabble rouser, unconventional and definitely bold. Whoever or whatever you spend time with will pass on their characteristics to you. This is why it is so important that you make the effort to immerse yourself in the word of God, keep company with Godly people and listen to Godly media. When you spend all of your time with worldly people participating in worldly activities, you will unconsciously adopt worldly beliefs, thoughts and mannerisms. Have you ever had a group of friends and over time you notice you begin to sound like each other. You use the same phrases, talk with the same cadence and even think similarly? Whatever or whomever you are joined to will affect your life and not always in a positive manner. Romans 12:2 says, “ Do not confirm to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so you can prove what is the pleasing and perfect will of God.” David spent oodles of time with God, therefore, it is not a surprise that when faced with the same situation as others he acted differently, he acted in boldness with the spirit of God.
A Servant’s Heart. Shepherding is a humbling profession, it was not a well respected position in those times in Israel. As a shepherd, you are a servant of the sheep, of all things. It is your responsibility to make sure they are well taken care of, fed, protected, rested and thriving. Sheep are not necessarily the easiest to tend, they have minds of their own, they will wander off, be stubborn or even refuse to obey the commands of the shepherd. David undoubtedly had to deal with all of these frustrations yet he took pride in caring for them. In 1 Samuel 17:34, David says, “ When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death.” When you serve others, it changes your outlook on life, you recognize your life is not for yourself but tied to others and their ability to thrive.
The Forgotten One. Samuel, the most renowned prophet, arrived in Bethlehem to anoint the future king of Israel from the house of Jesse. Jesse and all of his sons were invited to have an audience with Samuel. Can you imagine the excitement and anticipation? It was probably one of the most exciting moments for Jesse and his family. However, they intentionally or unintentionally forgot the most crucial member of their family in this instance, David. But God passed over all seven of Jesse’s older brothers to honor David. 1 Samuel 16:10, “ All seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “ The Lord has not chosen any of these. Then Samuel asked, “ Are these all the sons you have?” There is still the youngest, Jesse replied, But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.” Send for him at once, Samuel said, we will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”
When you are forgotten by the world, it leaves a gap for God to find you. God loves to take who the world has forgotten and make them significant for His glory. God showcases His glory with the ignored and sidelined. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, “Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”
If you have felt forgotten, passed over or otherwise ignored, take heart, this is exactly the position in which God can use you boldly for his glory.