God is calling us to be bold

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Have you received the power of the Holy Spirit? asks Eric Gaudion (pictured, inset, above).

If there was one clear sign that the first followers of Jesus had been filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, it was their boldness.

There were others, of course, from the sound of a rushing wind, through flames of fire touching heads, to people speaking in tongues.

But one feature of Spirit-filled life that is reported often in the book of Acts was this: boldness. Courage converted into action.

Prior to their baptism in the Holy Spirit, the believing community had been marked by fear.

Their precious leader and Lord had been brutally murdered before their eyes, and although his resurrection had impacted them powerfully, they gathered in small groups behind locked doors due to their fear of the Jewish leaders (John 20:19).

But after their wonderful Pentecostal experience, it seems that nothing could keep them down.

In Acts 4 their boldness impacted even the Sanhedrin Council of whom they had previously been so afraid.

This kind of boldness, however, is not brashness. Spiritually bold people can still read the room, realise when folk are in need of a tender touch and respond accordingly.

Neither is this boldness marked by arrogance, which is really a false sense of being better than others.

One of the early Spirit-filled team was a guy called Barnabas whose name means ‘son of encouragement’, and he was described as ‘preaching boldly’ in Acts 14:3, with no sign of arrogance.

And spiritual boldness is not presumptuous. It does not forge ahead with every good idea, assuming that we automatically have God’s blessing on everything that we do.

Holy Spirit-filled boldness and courage also marked the early members of our Elim Pentecostal denomination.

They marched in great open-air demonstrations for the gospel, booked the largest venues in the land for their early ‘crusades’ and rallies, including the Royal Albert Hall in London, and it could have been said of them, as it was of the apostles, that they filled cities with their teaching.

Marion Paint was one such young woman. Brought up with her sister Coralie in a quiet lane in Guernsey, in 1924 Marion became a Christian and within a couple of years had left for Bible college in the UK.


There she was baptised in the Holy Spirit and felt God calling her, a trained teacher, to serve him overseas.

During a period of illness, she felt that God gave her a vision of India with a black band stretching across its great expanse from west to east and with it, a deep impression that Jesus alone could bring light to that darkness.

In 1929 Marion set sail boldly, along with colleagues, to a primitive and challenging place of ministry in India, where she served the Lord courageously until just before her death in 1972.

Coralie, a nurse, followed her later and together they achieved great things for Jesus! To a certain extent, boldness has gone out of fashion today.

It has become uncool to be sure of something and even less acceptable to say so, especially in the presence of people who may not share our own beliefs and values.

The thin line between sharing the gospel and what today’s society might call ‘hate speech’ is a membrane growing ever more fragile.

But nevertheless, boldness is still a sign of the Spirit’s power, and it has not gone away. Perhaps it is needed now more than ever.

God is calling us to be bold in our time. If we are to have courage to endure, to overcome, to plant churches, to witness in all the earth, we need our own Pentecost. The Spirit of God is still the spirit of boldness.

So, as Paul asked of the new believers in Ephesus, have you received the power of the Holy Spirit? The nations wait to see what God will achieve today through a generation truly soaked in his Spirit.

Eric Gaudion is a retired Elim pastor and author of ‘Through the Storms’ and other books.

From Direction Magazine

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