Brazenly Uncomfortable (In All the Right Ways)

By Beth Winze

We live in a day and age when boldness carries more negative connotations than positive. Passivity and tiptoeing around issues is encouraged more than addressing the issues or asking directly. I believe this creeps into the core of our lives in the smallest ways. Have you ever had to deal with someone trying to decide what to have for dinner? The conversations usually run a little like this. (Feel free to ad lib your own situational experience)

“What do you feel like having for dinner?”

“I don’t care at all. You decide.”

“How about Chinese take out?”

“No. I am not really feeling Chinese.”

“How about Mexican?”

“Not really feeling that either.”

*At this point I just suggest starvation over working with the undecided*

This is such a common discussion that they now have a restaurant called “I Don’t Care, You Decide” (is that supposed to be in quotations? It’s a restaurant and my punctuation skills are not focused at the current moment) Knowing what you want and desire is hard at times. The Christian life requires boldness. I have heard countless numbers of sermons that lead off or end with “The Spirit of God is present.”

Is He?

Well He must be, because the pastor said it.

Do I believe it?

I think it’s an odd thought that God would be here right now, at this second, listening to this particular conversation on this exact day.

These are very real conversations I have had with myself more than once. Reading Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts this morning, I stumbled across a quote I would like to highlight here. “If there are wolves in the woods – expect to see wolves; and there is God in this place – expect to see God.” This statement was written in complete audacity. There is no hesitation in Voskamp’s belief that God is here in this moment.

We’ve seen this before. A lack of boldness to expect the Lord’s presence appears in

Mark 16: 11- 14

“She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who has seen him after he had risen.”    – NIV

I took the liberty of examining the scripture and boldfacing every time that someone doubted/did not believe that Christ was alive. I was shocked to say the least.

“She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who has seen him after he had risen.”   – NIV

Imagine Jesus, having just risen from the dead, finding his friends lacking his presence. Yes, I realize that being rose from the dead is not an everyday occurrence, but I can only imagine how Jesus felt being questioned by his closest.

Jesus asks us to be bold in our petitions. He does not want to hear us say “well maybe it would be great if you could possibly________, but only if you see it fit”. He already knows what your heart’s desires are, so being audacious and asking him specifically only shows a profound confidence you hold in Him.

Jesus was bold in everything He did. His baptism, his teachings, and his life – we are created in His image so we need to live up to the Creator. After all, I would much rather roar like a lion than bleat like an infant lamb.

 

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