|The Boldness of Standing in the Truth
This morning I’m gazing at the account in Luke 4 in which Jesus, in front of His hometown folks, read the prophecy of Isaiah 61 and applied it to Himself, declaring that on that day the prophecy was fulfilled. I read that passage from the perspective of 2000 years of history, a theological conviction that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, and that He absolutely spoke the truth in that moment. No problem, right?
What is harder to get hold of is that in that moment, Jesus was saying these things as a man filled with and led by the Holy Spirit, in the context of people who didn’t believe Him because they knew Him from childhood, one of the kids from the neighborhood, the son of Joe and Mary (and conceived illegitimately, too!). His boldness and confidence in saying what He said had to be rooted in something deeper than the opinions of the people around Him. Jesus had to know the voice of His true Father, the God of Heaven and earth, and He had to define Himself by that voice and no other. Only then could He make bold statements about Himself that appear to be fantastically egotistical, unless they are true.
Here’s the point for you and me: what are we saying about ourselves and our relationship to the purposes of God in our lives, the reasons for which we are filled with and anointed by the Holy Spirit? Who are you, and who am I, in God’s opinion? If we are going to stand in bold truth, and accomplish that for which we have been called and saved, we need to be settled in what God says, and not trying to find our identity and destiny in the opinions of others.
Paul the apostle said it in Philippians 3: “I want to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of me!” In other words, Paul wanted to find out what was in God’s mind when He conceived of his life. What was the story God was writing that would be played out on the earth through the life of Paul? That was Paul’s goal, to fully discover the truth that enabled him to live boldly in the face of contrary opinion and opposition throughout his life.
Here’s the challenge – let us go before God in the confidence provided by Jesus’ finished work on our behalf, and hear what He has to say concerning us, you and me. Let us eliminate any other opinion from our self-definition that does not agree with what God says. And then, let us dare to stand boldly and declare, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, and He has anointed me to …” Then, fill in the blanks concerning what God has given you to do, and, standing boldly in that truth, go do your assignment in the grace and power of His presence upon you.