When we speak boldly for Truth, we will be vehemently tested.
I’ve seen this in my own life. As I’ve chosen to speak boldly for Christ, I can usually expect a time of warfare right around the corner.
Peter went from the pinnacle of honor to the very depths of warfare in one fell swoop. And he didn’t even realize it had happened, until Jesus addressed him as Satan.
The apostle Peter learned a lot through hard experience. He learned, for example, that crushing defeat and deep humiliation often follow hard on the heels of our greatest victories. Just after Christ commended him for his great confession in Matthew 16:16 (“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”), Peter suffered the harshest rebuke ever recorded of a disciple in the New Testament. One moment Christ called Peter blessed, promising him the keys of the kingdom (vv. 17-19). In the next paragraph, Christ addressed Peter as Satan and said, “Get behind me!” (v. 23)… ~John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
It seems to be the way of things. As soon as we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9), we can expect the battle to begin. The battle is for our souls. Of course, we know we’ve been sealed in the Holy Spirit and nothing will separate us from His love. No one can snatch us from His hand. But, we can become ineffective in our witness. We can become frustrated and weak by the warfare, so much so, that we choose not to hold up the light as high as we once did.
I’m in danger of doing just that. Warfare has been stepped up in my life, and I would love to go hide under the bed with my lamp.
“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed,
but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in can see the light.”
Paul asked for prayer that he may continue to speak boldly in the face of tremendous warfare. And the warfare he was under was far worse than anything I’ve yet to endure. Beatings. Persecutions. Hunger. Stoneings. (2 Corinthians 6:1-10; 11:24-27)
Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of His power. Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. . . . Pray for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak – that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak. ~Ephesians 6:10-20
I’ve not had to endure anything close to Paul’s struggles. And when I think of what our Lord endured, I am humbled:
Think of Him who endured such opposition against Himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against sin. ~Hebrews 12:3-4
I am taking up the full armor of God so that I may be able to stand. And I’m also requesting prayer. I really need to continue to speak boldly as I know He has called me to do. Please pray that I would have the words He desires for me to speak. As we’ve been instructed, the tongue can be set on fire by hell (James 3:1-6).
I want my words to be heavenly.