"Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end ... the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this" (Isa. 9:7).
There is a boldness that is greatly needed among the people of God as our culture continues to self-destruct. We know that truth must be shared, and the kingdom of God proclaimed. And yet the critics and trolls are ever-present, ready to pounce when we begin to challenge the status quo.
Though we want to see change and long for victory, we are hesitant to step in the ring and add our voice to the fight. Not only do we fear the enemy's counterpunches, but we wonder if our own friends will cry foul and condemn our speech.
Personally, I am an introvert by nature and one that usually waits to speak in a crowd. It does not come naturally for me to speak up or go against the grain. I'm like most people who would prefer to be liked and appreciated for my perspective. Even in my writing, I usually try to take a more conciliatory tone in hopes of making a gracious appeal rather than to outright confront a wrong.
Even so, there are times I cannot hold back and am compelled to speak up—regardless of the consequence. Something happens deep in my spirit and begins to burn in my soul as a fire that has been kindled.
It is not just raising a complaint or confronting a lie. It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that fuels my passion and ignites a righteous indignation on behalf of those who are lost and without hope. It is a zeal that goes beyond my personal preference and need for validation and breaks through the fear of man. When this anointed zeal begins to burn in my heart, it consumes every other doubt and silences every other voice.
A Consuming Fire
"For the Lord your God is a consuming fire. He is a jealous God" (Deut. 4:24).
When one gets touched by the fire of God, nothing can put it out. It is entirely different from the anger of man or impatience of the flesh. It is a supernatural ignition of the heart. It not only awakens us to the eternal realities at stake; it reveals a voice deep within our spirit that is not our own. It is the Lion of Judah hidden within the recesses of our spirit waiting for the time to roar. Its power is love and its purpose is redemption and restoration.
"The wicked flee when no man pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion" (Prov. 28:1).
We all have that roar within us. It is a sound that is greater than the cacophony of voices vying for our attention, and it cuts through the static of enemy interference. It is a boldness that breaks the yoke of the oppressor and calls attention to the Lion Himself who alone is worthy to rule and reign. Though we are the conduit of this sound, it is His voice that bursts onto the scene, dispelling the darkness and silencing our accusers. It is this roar that will fuel our boldness and give us the courage to say what others fear and the enemy dreads.
Jesus demonstrated this zeal when He tore through the temple and removed the idol worshippers who had set up shop (see John 2:13-17). That which would have been considered treasonous and even violent became an act of holy intervention that awakened the masses and stirred His disciples. The zeal for His Father's house consumed Him with a passion for holiness and a fierce love for His people.
"For the zeal of Your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insulted You fell on me" (Ps. 69:9).
This bold roar does not come without cost nor can it be summoned at will. It can only come by being in the presence of the Holy One. If we are to raise this roar over our households, our communities and our nation, it will require us to get before the throne of grace and gaze upon His holiness. It will require a readiness to be branded by the Spirit and forever seared by His presence. If you have fully surrendered to His kingdom purposes and are sold out to radical obedience, the Lion will speak through you if you let Him. Do not disqualify yourself from the ring because of seeming weaknesses in your personality or lack of any skill set. The zeal of the Lord is not of this realm. You are not of this realm. We serve a higher kingdom and a greater King.
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved, let us be gracious, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:28-29).
You do not have to try and be bold. Boldness will come as a result of being in the holy place. It will be the fruit of a love so intense and a calling so sure, nothing will stop it.