If you walk with the Lord long enough, there’s no denying when He’s trying to get your attention. Not a doubt when He speaks directly into your heart. It just happened to me today.
See, I listened to a Bible study video yesterday. The teacher was dissecting the following verse out of 2 Timothy: For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
I learned that the Greek word for fearfulness is deilia, which means timidity or cowardice.
Let me repeat that… cowardice.
Not coincidentally, I read that very same word in my daily devotional book today. Completely different source but very same word. Cowardice. And I can only attribute this to God. Quite obviously, He wanted me to notice something.
The message? “Cowardice will come and say “You must retreat to the world’s way of acting. It is too difficult for you to continue living the part of a Christian.”
And I realize that somewhere over the past two years, that’s just what I’ve done. I’ve retreated. I’ve stepped back from what God calls me to do in the name of political correctness. In the face of opposition, I’ve run the opposite way from proclaiming the name of Jesus. Because truth is, Jesus Christ the Savior is not PC.
And so, I took the coward’s way…
And it can’t be coincidence I chose a yellow top today. It’s just not.
So don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord… 2 Timothy 1:8
Yep, God’s talking to me. He’s showing me that I’ve been acting like a coward by keeping quiet for so long. But He stirs me anew. He says He’s deposited within me a spirit of power and love and sound mind.
And He reminds me I house something so important. Vital. Yes, it’s a good thing I house and I’m charged to guard it. But more than that, I’m to share it. Because good news should not remain hidden.
No, good news should be shared.
But I haven’t been. For the politically charged arena in which we find ourselves is filled with news already. Mostly bad. Volatile and hostile and divisive. And nowadays, even the flag is bad news. Seems it’s offensive. The flag of our country, and patriotism, is wrong. Not the popular choice…
And don’t dare bring up religion. Especially Christianity. And most specifically, the name of Jesus Christ. Because it’s inflammatory…
But yesterday, I prayed. I said, Lord, fan into flame that good thing you put into me. And I was talking about my desire to share God and His Son. That desire that once overwhelmed me like when I first began blogging four years ago.
That passion compelled me to share the good news of Jesus Christ through my daughter’s “birth announcement”:
The Lord gave the command; a great company of women brought the good news… Psalm 68:11
I’ve listened to the news the past two days. This morning’s so angered me, I felt compelled to act. I decided I just don’t want to sit on the sidelines anymore being timid and quiet. I don’t want to be controlled by this spirit of fearfulness any longer.
Fearing what people might think if I’m patriotic. Worried about my reputation being besmirched. Anxious about someone no longer liking me because I love Jesus Christ.
I’m tired of that.
Thus, God stirs me. He compels me to speak up. I tell the world (or whoever cares to read this) that I live in a land that I love. I love America. I love God. I am a Christian who claims Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
And if this makes me politically incorrect and unpopular, that’s quite alright. Because Jesus said to not be ashamed of Him and if we were, He’d be ashamed of us before the Father.
So, I chose courage over fearfulness. I chose to not be ashamed.
How welcome are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things. Romans 10:15
The apostle Paul told Timothy to guard that good thing that was entrusted to him. Somehow over the past two years, I let my guard down. I let the enemy of political correctness to enter my gates. That’s when I fell.
I lost territory.
But today, God fans to flame my desire to share good news. Just like the herald did in the book of Luke. “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
See that. The good news is for all the people. Not just Fox news for the conservatives or CNN for liberals.
And what is the good news?
A Savoir was born for everyone… conservatives and liberals alike. Right and left.
He came from Nazareth and the question was posed, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip’s reply? He said come and see.
And I reiterate those words of Philip. I invite you to come and see if you haven’t already discovered the good news of Jesus Christ. The good news being He was born and died for us. For our sins. So we could live forever. That’s the good news.
Yes, it’s just as He said…
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Luke 4:18-19
I don’t know about you, but I could sure use a little good news today. Because I’m so weary of seeing the news on TV. Mostly bad. Volatile and hostile and divisive. Flag burnings and calls to violence.
Yep, I’m ready to hear a bit more like yesterday morning’s news. It was a snippet from actor Jim Carey’s speech to a graduating class. He talked about fear and love. As soon as I heard it, I knew God was speaking to me.
Yes, God can even get our attention through well-known comedians.
See, Carey talked about taking the safe path (out of fear) and the risky path (born out of love). His father took the safe path and a safe job. Accounting. Thing is, he was fired. He failed at doing something he didn’t even love. Carey’s point was if you’re going to fail anyway, why not fail at doing the thing you love.
That resonated with me.
Because I love to share the good news of Jesus Christ. And yet, I haven’t been. I chose the safe path of laying low. Of staying out of the light. Of keeping divisive issues to myself. But God spoke loudly through a Bible teacher, a devotional book and a Hollywood movie star.
He told me to take courage. To take the risky path and do what I love most. Which is sharing that good thing within me…
To proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
And so, I discard my yellow top (the color of a coward) and I do what He bids.
I proclaim His name.
And once more, I take the way of the courageous…
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Romans 8:15