The church of Jesus Christ is being challenged and stretched in ways it never has before. All over the world, God’s people are being put to the test in some form or fashion. For example, in China, more and more pastors are being arrested by the government. In North America, the church is locked in a struggle that is challenging the very fabric of Christian fellowship. In our local congregations, there is a struggle for supremacy and control. And you and I could name a host of other challenges.
The temptation for many would be to bury our head in the sand or to play it safe. However, I am convinced from the Word of God, now is the time for holy boldness!
I am reminded of what Paul shared with the church at Ephesus so long ago: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12. This verse describes what we are up against as a Church. The good news to the answer is found in the same chapter. Paul says in verses 10 and 11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
One of the best definitions of being strong in the Lord is found in the story of the three Hebrew worthies, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The faith they exhibited in facing the fiery furnace is the kind of faith necessary for God’s people today. They didn’t know the exact outcome, but they put their complete trust in the fourth Man in the fire! And that was the difference!
I’ve heard it said that, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” Let us not shrink from the challenges but let us move forward with the holy boldness that He provides.
By Richard C. Dye, Sr., President