"Roar" encourages people to speak up to people who have knocked them down in the past. This could be bullies, critics, antagonists, or anyone who doesn't believe in you. I am all about self-respect and individual confidence. In fact I write positive things about myself every morning during my quiet time, especially towards the parts of my life where I lack confidence. This daily exercise helps me remain focused and confident for what God has prepared me to do. Katy Perry really is a great catalyst for promoting good self-esteem in individuals. "Firework" is another great song she sings that is along the same lines as is great for boosting self-confidence. (Would be a great morning-pump-up song.)
Very similar to self-confidence is what I call God-confidence. The two ideas are very related but separate at the same time. We can't stand up for God if we don't believe in ourselves, but at the same time God gives us the power to do anything. If God calls you to take a stand on something, you best believe he will give you the strength to do that. The strength to stand up for ourselves, our beliefs, and our God all comes as a gift from above, however we must tap into that gift in order to use it for the Kingdom.
God has been revealing these ideas to me through studying the boldness that Jesus and his devout disciples displayed. Sunday at church we looked at a passage in Acts chapter 16. The story is about Paul and Silas getting thrown in prison for being very blunt about their belief in Jesus Christ, son of the living God. This is an obvious bold act on their part. I wonder how many of us today would be willing to go to prison for believing in God. Many do it overseas, but would any here in America? Are we that dangerous? Are we willing to be that brave?
Although this is huge, it was something Paul said later that struck me as bold.
While Paul and Silas sat in prison, they prayed and worshipped while the other prisoners listened. Again, that is pretty bold. Imagine if you were sitting on cold hard concrete in a dirty prison full of rapists and murderers. Everyone has hard looks on you as they size you up--anticipating what your weakness is and why you too were locked up. Just as the biggest, ugliest, meanest looking one steps forward...you start praying and singing hymns to God. Wait..what?!
Yeah, I'm definitely not that bold yet.
Anyhow so while they are singing and praying a sudden earthquake happens and all of the prisoner's chains are released. The guard realizes what has happened and is about to kill himself when Paul screams out, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
That's the line that got me.
Again, Paul screams out: "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
To me this would have been the boldest move.
Allow me to explain:
My mind likes to piddle back and forth with promoting the "whatever happens, happens" theory and the "if you want something to happen you have to make it happen" theory. On one side I watch everything fall into place the way God planned it, whether we like it or not. He is ultimately in control, and although a man makes plans in his heart, it is the Lord who determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9.) We live best when we lean back and enjoy the ride.
On the contrary I see free will being a huge thing in that if we want something we must go get it. If we want out of sin we need to pray to be changed, not sit and wait for God to convict us. An example of this is "Flee from the devil and the devil will flee from you." (James 4:7) In order for God to do something for us, we have to make a step toward him first.
I may over-think things, but then I look around at people and I think, Why isn't that person my friend? Well, I suppose it just didn't happen..we don't have the connection. If it was meant to be it would have happened. Yet when we look at Jesus and Paul they took the opposite approach. More like..HEY BE MY FRIEND!
Okay so not quite that weird, but if I had been in Paul's situation at the jail; watching the guard pick up his sword and edge towards killing himself, I probably would be the one to sit their and watch with wide eyes, asking myself the whole time why God thought I needed to see someone die. I admit that I probably would not have even thought about opening my mouth and telling the dude to quit.
Now let's bounce to John 18:1-11. Jesus is in an olive grove with some of his disciples. Long story short a fight breaks out and when Peter retaliates in attempt to protect Jesus, Jesus commands Peter to "put his sword away!"
Again, to me it looks like Jesus is less about the laid-back, watch-it-happen approach, and more about the stay-in-control-of-the-situation. Both Jesus and Paul made changes in their environment by speaking up and acting out about the evil going on around them.
This is so challenging for me because although I am getting better, I still have a hard time telling people what they don't want to hear. It is hard for me to cause conflict, even if it is menial.
The more I grow as an adult and a Christian, the more I am challenged to stand up for what I really want and ignore everyone who says I can't. If God calls me to do it, I can.
Writing for example is a huge thing. I am 100% certain God uses me through my writing. He inspires my writing and he will continue to do this throughout my life. Because of this bold certainty, I am constantly being attacked by Satan about my writing. Every post leaves me in fear. Fear of being unwanted. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of my ideas being rejected by those I love most. But that's the beauty of writing, it is incredibly scary in that God asks writers to be completely honest, humble and boldly-spoken. You can't write truth if you aren't bold enough to proclaim it.
My writing professor always challenged us to be more vulnerable, because that's when it hurts, and that's when people start to connect.
So today I challenge you to gauge your boldness as you go about your everyday activities. What situations would cause Jesus to speak up? Where do you feel the Lord challenging you to take a stand? Is there something he's called you to that others don't necessarily agree with? Pray through Proverbs 28:1 several times throughout the day and see where God takes you.
"The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion."
You held me down, but I got up
get ready cause I've had enough."
--Katy Perry "Roar" lyrics
get ready cause I've had enough."
--Katy Perry "Roar" lyrics