“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith”. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
I love big and powerful words like “extravagant,” “unfathomable,” and “bodacious.” But, my favorite of all is really “Audacious”. Very few other words have such an incredible effect on me. It might be because of its challenging connotation and action-oriented meaning. You can’t read or hear this word and not think of doing something of great impact. When someone challenges you with it, you want to do the unthinkable and get out there and risk everything for an unbelievable outcome.
I will be the first to admit, when I hear the term “audacious faith” my stomach says to me, “are you sure about this?” Paul had a way of using words like this to challenge his spiritual disciples. He not only used words, but his lifestyle modeled his mind set. This was so much a part of his personality that he thought of himself as a “crazy, out of this world, bring it on” kind of guy (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 1:27; Acts 16). Most of us think Paul was this strategist, who planned intensely how to reach the multitudes. I personally don’t have this idea of him when I read about his activities in the New Testament. My impression is that Paul just wanted to be AUDACIOUS with his faith. Come on, admit it, you are not that different! When you were in your teen years you thought about doing big things with your life (maybe because you watched Superman too much). You wanted to leave a significant mark, to impact the world.
If you are like me, in your younger years of ministry you daydreamed about your church, your marriage, and your kids. You believed you could positively change the world for Jesus. But as time went by and after a few disappointments, doubts began to set in. You used to challenge people with audacity, but now when you look at a fresh graduate out of college you cynically say to yourself, “he doesn’t know what is waiting for him.” And to make matters worse, we don’t think there is anything wrong with this kind of thinking. We call it “reality,” and it sounds so mature and balanced.
In his words to the young Timothy, Paul charged his spiritual son with big and powerful words. We don’t hear Paul saying, “hang in there, son, do your best, well, at least you tried.” No! More than once he uses a word that sometimes is misinterpreted, but it is loaded with challenge, “GUARD the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:14, 6:20). One might think that Paul was advising his pupil to carefully store his faith in the closet and wait for Jesus to come back. But no, Paul was telling Timothy to take his faith to the next level. In other words, “Get out there, Tim, get the Word out, preach it, challenge people to live godly lives. Don’t pay attention to the critics when they say ‘get real.’ Instead, say to them, this is ‘getting real!’ Believe in the size of your God, Tim, don’t shrink when you face obstacles, but ask God to help you take a leap of faith!”
I know I have the tendency to spice things up a bit, but I do believe being faithful does not mean to die alone with this treasure; instead, “faithfully and audaciously share it with others!” God is not done with you, my friend, you might have many years of ministry under your belt already and you might be thinking it is time to throw in the towel and take a vacation. Your best years are still ahead of you and God still wants to use you in a mighty way. He has called you for a purpose and He is going to make sure to fulfill it in your life (1 Thess. 5:24). He believes in you and He wants you to GUARD what He has entrusted you. My prayer is for God to awaken us from our deep sleep of disbelief and comfort. Will you join me in this prayer? Let us believe, brother, that you and I are still meant to radically change this world, not because we are Superman, but because we have a SuperAudaciousGod!
Author: Pastor Joe Campos