When we think of boldness, we tend to think of strength, courage, and bravery. We think of a lion. We think of venturing forward with confidence.
We do not think of gentleness and humility, surrender and dependence.
A few years ago, I was living a life of little need for God.
I was planning a wedding, finishing up my college education, excited about a new start in Colorado, and ready for the next season.
With my mouth, I proclaimed a love for Jesus. With my life, I demonstrated a huge lack of dependence upon God.
After a two-and-a-half month engagement (bold) and an 1800-mile move across the country (bold), my new husband and I found ourselves newly married in a beautiful new place.
The first few months were exciting – full of courageous, bold, adult decisions.
And then the loneliness set in…
Y’all, I have never been lonely like I was in those first few months of Colorado living. I am not a lonely person.
I enjoy time spent alone, refueling by energy tank. But even more than that, I love people. And up until those months in our new home state, I had never experienced true loneliness.
I dug into Scripture. I clung to the Lord. I felt a burning hunger for the Word of God.
I needed Him, so I ran after Him.
Then I started the journey of living boldly.
During that season, God challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, to live with confident boldness, to surrender my need for control and simply take the next brave step.
It’s been a beautiful journey.
But recently God broke into that comfortable arena of growth and taught me something incredibly humbling: boldness is bravery and courage, yes, but boldness is also gentle dependence on the Lord.
In each of us, there is a need for courage. I believe that whole-heartedly and I’ve come to live with that truth at the forefront of my life.
But in the midst of all of my newfound courage, God reminded me of Ester.
Side note: I’d really like to be best friends with Ester. Sigh. I believe it’ll happen in heaven.
Ester’s story is full to brimming with courage, bravery, excitement, and boldness. But during my most recent reading of Ester’s life, I was captured by Ester’s gentle dependence upon God.
First, there’s the bold calling in chapter 4.
Mordecai relays to Ester: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Ester 4:13-14, NKJV)
It fires me up to picture Ester, listening to the relayed message from her Uncle Mordecai, filling herself with the passionate truth that God is the one who has placed her in the kingdom for that exact moment.
Recently, I’ve had moments where I believe that God has said, “Trust me. I know that you have been planted in this place for such a time as now.”
Maybe you’ve had those moments too – a deep sense that God has placed you in a position, a place, or a group for this time.
Boldness. It makes me so excited.
But then, in chapter 5, Ester demonstrates the other side of boldness that I so often forget – gentle dependence.
Ester just finished serving the king a banquet, and the king asks Ester about her request.
It seems like the perfect time to ask the king, “Hey… uh… don’t kill my people, okay? That is my request.”
But Ester doesn’t do that. She doesn’t rush. She simply says…
“Let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.” (Ester 5:8, NKJV)Ester’s gentle dependence upon God gave her the wisdom not to rush with her bold request. #faith… Click To Tweet
She waited until the next day – gently depended upon the God who was leading her every step.
Boldness is strength. Boldness is confidence, courage, and bravery.
But boldness also comes in the moments when we say, “God, I need you. I need your strength, confidence, courage, and bravery. I need your presence and your guidance. I need you.”
After that huge move across the country and my long season of loneliness, I’ve come to understand something beautiful.
God doesn’t drag us through difficulty just because He wants to do so. He allows us to walk through difficulty to teach us gentle, bold dependence.
I was talking to a friend the other day and said, “If my husband and I had not moved to Colorado, I don’t know when I would have learned to trust deeply and completely in God.”
Through it all, God was nurturing gentle dependence.
He was nurturing beautiful boldness.
How might God be teaching you gentle dependence? Where do you need to surrender big, loud boldness for gentle, dependent boldness?
Keep fighting the good fight of faith. Keep boldly approaching God’s throne – with the beautiful posture of gentle dependence.
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