Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. – Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
Let’s play a game of word association. What do you think of when you think of the words audacious and audacity? Do you associate these words with being loud, ostentatious, or braggadocios? Perhaps you’ve seen audacious people who are also loud and obnoxious, but that really isn’t what audacious or audacity means. Audacity means the courage to think big, to take risks and to show initiative for a dream while facing the possibility of failure.
What if I told you, maybe you think I’m being audacious in my claim, that God wants his children to display spiritually audacity? If you’re still hung up on the word audacity try substituting it with another word, faith. Listen to what Hebrews the 11th chapter has to say about faith, Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (verse 1). And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies (verses 33-34)
Verse 33 provides quite the roll call of faith heroes, but let’s take a look at the most audacious of those, David. He had quite the public coming out party. The Philistine giant, Goliath, struck terror in the hearts of the entire Israelite army. Goliath issued a challenge for a single Israelite warrior to step forward and take him on in a fight. No one accepted the challenge. No one, that is, except the teenage boy David who had gone to the frontlines to deliver food to his brothers. Goliath, offended that the Israelites would send a mere boy out to fight him quips, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” (1 Samuel 17:44-45 )(NLT).
Undaunted, David responds, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. (1: Samuel 17:45-46)(NLT). What was the source of David’s audacity? He was not facing Goliath alone. He came in the name of the Lord Almighty. Even the most irreligious person knows how this fight ends. David with nothing more than a sling strikes Goliath with stone and kills him.
David’s words are instructive for us when we face the “giants” in our lives. We are never to face them alone. The problems in our lives can loom overly large unless we view them through the lens of faith in God. Ten of the twelve spies whom Moses sent to spy out the land of Canaan had a similar vision problem. Listen to their report captured in Numbers 13:32-33, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
Two of the ten spies, Joshua and Caleb, saw the situation differently, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14:8-9)(NLT). Where the ten spies saw only the Nephilim, Joshua and Caleb more importantly saw beyond to see God. Unfortunately, the Israelites did not listen to Joshua and Caleb and their unbelief motivated by fear kept them out of the Promised Land.
Do not be afraid to be audacious when it comes to the things of God. Provided we are motivated to do God’s will, do not be afraid to ask for fear of asking for the ‘wrong thing.” God himself will refine our requests. Romans 8:26 tells us, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Moses audaciously asked God to see his glory. God did not answer Moses’ prayer in the manner he asked it, but God did allow his glory to pass by Moses. The result was that Moses’ face was so radiant after this encounter he had to cover his face to speak to the Israelites. The audacious David asked God for permission to build a temple for him. God did not permit David to build the temple, but allowed him to gather the building materials. God told David it will be his son Solomon who would build it instead. God did not answer Moses’ and David’s prayers exactly as they asked them, but both were blown away by the answers.
So go ahead and ask God. Be spiritually audacious for his kingdom. You do not have because you do not ask God. (James 4:2b)(NLT).