by: FCC Staff
"The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion."
Have you ever attempted crossing a stream using a fallen tree or branch? How fast or "boldly" did you run across it? You probably moved carefully and took your time, didn't you? Compare that to crossing the same stream using a bridge designed for crossing. Now how boldly did you cross that water?
When your foundation is solid you can build a solid dependable structure, and move confidently on and within it. If your foundation is rickety and shaky, anything you attempt to build on it will be questionable and destined to fail in the end.
When a person has a right relationship with their Creator, who formed them and knows them from the very foundation of their being, and if that person maintains that relationship daily, this is the person who knows without doubt he has the Holy Spirit, his sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38), and he has the "mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:16) This person walks through his day humbly knowing that "nothing can separate us from the love of Christ…tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword…neither death nor life, nor angel nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39) This person faces the day without fear because he knows his foundation is secure.
In life, he has the presence of the Lord, and in death, he is in the presence of the Lord. Bonus!
When a nonbeliever or a backslider goes through the day getting up on the run, placing their faith in what they can do and what the world can offer, there always seems to be a spirit of fear and worry as though being pursued by something they can't see. Always anxious about tomorrow, and feeling guilty about yesterday, so today slips by without notice. Only to become tomorrow's yesterday with feelings of guilt over what we didn't accomplish then. We've missed it! God allows this spirit as the Scripture says, "I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you." (Leviticus 26:17) And again, "But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread." (Psalm 53:5)
The Scriptures have a lot to say about our conscience. When we have a guilty conscience, no matter what we do we won't be able to shake it. It will hinder even the believer's confidence and we won't be able to walk "bold as a lion.” But the cure is clearly stated, "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries." Hebrews 10:22-27)
It is our conscience that bothers us and it can be our guilty conscience that works to keep us from turning back to God, fearing his rejection. But just the opposite is true. The sooner we draw near to him the sooner he will deal with our guilty conscience with love and forgiveness in Christ.
Included in the cure's prescription is to "consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together." These are kingdom truths. Jesus refers to his children as "sheep," who tend to travel in flocks. Off on their own they are prime targets for predators, or as the Bible says, "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) Notice the difference? Our passage today reveals that the righteous are as "bold as a lion" but it is the devil who "devours" like a lion those who are so prideful as to think they don't need the protection of the flock.
Prayer for today: Father, may we see our consciences as the warning light of our soul. Not neglecting it but drawing near to you in full assurance of faith and the righteousness of Christ. Help us daily to walk in the full light of your presence and the boldness that comes with the assurance of our salvation through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray with thanksgiving and praise. Amen!