29 “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’”
Acts 5:29 (ESV)
Do you know the state motto of New Hampshire? It’s a bold one: “Live free or die.“
The man who coined it was an American Revolutionary War hero, General John Stark. Stark must’ve faced many a moment of truth. The American Revolution he fought in demanded it repeatedly.
Boldness defined his life. And he was immune to coercion. Stark knew what he was willing to live for and die for. And this helped birth a new nation and amazing democratic movement that changed the world.
Moments of truth come our way too. They come whenever we:
- Choose to go against the flow, especially for moral reasons.
- Stand firm in our convictions and stand up to the enemy of our souls.
- Find a “Rosa Parks,” and sit with her on the bus.
- Face a “firing squad” for the sake of the gospel.
- Speak the truth in love.
- Put Jesus centerstage in our lives.
- Extend mercy and grace to undeserving others.
- Expose both personal sin and social injustice.
- Serve God and others before we do for ourselves.
Like the apostle Peter in Acts 5 and General Stark of the Revolutionary War, facing moments of truth well are worth it. Boldness beats about anything. Shrinking back is no option.
For your encouragement, here’s what God says happens when we are bold in living for Him:
PRONOUNCED BLESSING: Jesus declares blessing will surely come our way when we boldly follow Him. Blessing always follows loyalty and obedience to Him. Can’t say how or when, but it’s inevitable. It’s a law as sure as gravity (Matthew 5:3-12).
PERSONAL GROWTH: Boldness always causes us to grow. We become most alive when we defy peer pressure, when fear of man dies, and when all that matters to us is that what’s right and true is upheld (Job 17:9; Psalm 1:1-3).
PUBLIC BENEFIT: Our godly boldness blesses others. It spills over. It carries over. God sees to it (Proverbs 14:34).
Reflect: What moment of truth for you needs to boldly move to centerstage today? Where does “obeying God rather than man” need to play out in you? Who needs to be boldly confronted today?
A prayer to consider: LORD Jesus, utmost thanks to You for boldly living, boldly declaring truth and grace to us, to me. Like Stark, I want to live free or die.
Help me to stand with You with great confidence, fearless and free. I want to be rock solid, peer-pressureless, immune to coercion, blessing others by the stands I take in this drifting world.
Accomplish this in me for Your glory, and my growth and joy in You. Amen.