Being Challenged

Paul declares in Philippians 1:14 (NIV)

“And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear” When I heard this, my mind raced back to being in grade 5…

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Remember playing Truth or Dare as a kid? I always chose dare so I didn’t have to reveal my recent crush, or my deepest secret. I was always up for the dare, it didn't matter what it was. No challenge was too big; I would fight through the angst of teasing the neighbour’s German Shepherd, or doing a silly dance in front of my parents and family, or eating a mouthful of cinnamon. There were times when fear wanted to settle in and paralyze my courageous 10 year old heart, but then, a high pitched voice (usually my little brother) would provokingly yell: “I double dare you!!” and a shrieking giggle would follow. In that moment, the stakes had been raised, and I had to perform the task. I was always confident that I would succeed.

Paul writes to the church in Philippi about his suffering in prison, and how the believers have become confident in Lord, so much so that a daring boldness has clothed them to proclaim the gospel without fear. They knew this would be a challenge, ultimately death was the penalty they all awaited. The first church lived to fulfill their destiny, they were on mission, using every moment intentionally to spread the good news (the gospel) in their region. We stand on the shoulders of martyrs, who gave their lives so we could have the truth. Paul and his team lived with urgency. They knew that although their lives were at stake, there was a bigger issue at hand called eternity. Heaven and hell. 

What is your stumbling block to serve King Jesus with all of who you are? 

Are you speaking boldly about the Word of God? If so, how?

How does fear paralyze you?

I dare you, I double dare you to pray for boldness and 

-       step out in faith to share the good news of Jesus with someone

-       forgive someone from a past hurt and release the pain to Jesus to heal

-       to dare to dream  

Ask yourself the questions of what if? What if I surrendered myself entirely to the Father’s plan? What if I allowed the Holy Spirit to guide ALL my steps, where would he lead me? What if I loved Jesus with all my heart, mind and soul, what would be transformed in my life?

The stakes are high. The tension is real. Accepting the challenge may launch you into the dichotomy of truth AND dare. 

By embracing the dare of surrendering yourself to Christ, you embrace the truth of who He is. Subsequently, embracing truth is a dare in itself; as Jesus challenged His followers in John 8:31-32, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” So I submit another deep challenge, to be a woman who holds onto the truth and dares to be free.

By Anne Miranda

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Born and raised in Canada with a Lebanese heritage, Anne understands the challenges and beauty of being a first-generation Canadian. Anne is passionate about seeing the lives of women transformed by Jesus and loves encouraging others to reach their full potential as they advance the kingdom of God in their lives. She loves the Bible and is dedicated to training up women to be students of the scriptures as she directs the women’s ministry at Village Church in Surrey, British Columbia. 

Anne and her husband Carlos have been married for eleven years and are parents to Nathaniel and Hannah. She enjoys walks on the beach, cheerleading really loud at her kids sporting events, and exploring new cafés.

Fellowship Pacific