Are you responding to God’s request for your services? Do you know what ‘services’ I’m talking about?
I’m amazed when I talk with Christians and ask them, “What’s the one thing God has asked you to do?” Invariably the answer includes things like, “to not lie,” “to not steal”, “to not murder…” and a myriad of other things that surely are true. Actually, I wasn’t asking for a list of what God asked us NOT to do! What has He asked us TO do? Those answers were not the ones I was looking for, though God clearly wants all of those things.
When people answer my question with those type of answers, the focus is on them “being good.” Their focus is on works to make God happy, in other words, works for salvation. We are saved by grace, not by works (Ephesians 2:8,9). Of course God wants us to be good. Indeed, let’s live morally how God wants us to live, but let’s also go beyond that.
So what am I talking about when I ask, “Are you responding to God’s request for your services?” I’m talking about sharing your faith with others. The one thing God has asked us to do is to help Him bring in as many people as we can into His fold before what He has called ‘the end” occurs. We don’t like to think about it, and we even want to disbelieve it, but God says as a matter of fact that at one point in time, not to distant in the future, this present age will end. The time for salvation is now. Now is the time to bring people to the Lord.
You see, In II Corinthians 5:11-21 God told as that He’s given to us the ministry of reconciling others back to Him. He calls it The Ministry of Reconciliation. And to get the job done, He says He’s ‘committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” He not only asks us to do the job, He gives us the main tool we need to accomplish it — His Word of reconciliation. Jesus also promised He is present with us all the time.
How you may think, “That’s not for me.” Some may say, “I couldn’t do that, I’d scare people away.” But what is the underlying reason for these comments? What are the underlying attitudes?
From my over 30 years of working with people, these common answers are coming out of very ungodly places. I ask you to consider the major reason why people do NOT respond to God’s request. If you find yourself struggling with this, my challenge is for you to overcome and conquer so you can indeed answer God’s call. His work depends upon it.
The first reason people shy away from sharing their faith is, plain and simple, fear. There are many faces to this type of fear, but it boils down to cowardice. People are afraid of what others will think of them. They fear they will be marked and shunned from that point on. They are afraid of the social repercussions.
My response is, “So what?” What’s the worst that can happen? Si what if you are labeled a Christian who dares to actually believe what the Bible says and isn’t afraid to speak about it. I ask you, is that a bad thing?
I’m not saying there will never be social repercussions. Jesus told is the world will hate us, but he also told us not to fear the world because he has overcome it — and we are with him.
The cowardice type of fear is easy to overcome.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear (the Greek word for ‘fear’ means ‘cowardice’) but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7).
If you do not represent God and our Lord Jesus Christ and invite others into God’s family, how will He get the job done? If everybody says, “someone else will do it, I can’t…” then there will be nobody left to do the work!
Don’t worry what others think of you. Speak God’s Word in love (Ephesians 4:15). Will they think you’re crazy? You know the truth so you know you’re not — it’s their problem within themselves.
Do you think they will harm you? Repercussions like that are common in some countries, but rare in the Western world, though incidences are increasing. Christians in many Eastern countries are being killed daily for what they believe and are still often much more bold to speak God’s Word than Western Christians who are not up against such odds. This speaks volumes. It’s time for all Christians to wake up and answer God’s call, not fearing what mankind can do unto us.
I understand the reluctance you might have to share your faith with others. A lifestyle of integrity truly is a good witness. But you and I both know that doesn’t introduce people to Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you — they are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:23). Looking a little deeper at that verse, I discovered that the words “they are spirit and they are life” is the figure of speech called “hendyadis” which means “two things said, one thing meant.” The figure hendyadis takes one very important phrase and puts extreme emphasis on it by splitting it in to two parts, each of which are emphasized individually. Not using the figure of speech, the phrase could read, “The words that I speak unto you impart spiritual life.”
People have to hear words — God’s Word — if they are to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. The words we speak are better supported by a godly lifestyle, however don’t think that an imperfect lifestyle precludes anyone from the ministry of reconciliation we’ve been given. On the contrary, many people who have believed Jesus Christ have overcome the worst lifestyles and disgusting acts you can imagine, and have become some of the most influential witnesses of God’s salvation.
God’s not necessarily asking you to be a superstar witness, an evangelist or a street-corner preacher. Don’t let your joy, which comes from doing what God asks you to do, be denied by thoughts you may now have of what it means or looks like to share your faith with others. All God is asking you to do is your part, whatever that may be. It may be winning one person, it may be a multitude; to each their own according to their own ability. Just do your part in your own way.
Sometimes people hesitate on their responsibility because they simply don’t know how to share their faith with others. I totally understand and respect that. I believe the bottom line is that God shows you how as you act. You may make mistakes and you probably will. You may feel embarrassed at first, and probably will.
You may feel you’re too shy. You may feel you’re too bold. You may feel a million feelings, but once you learn how to let God work within you to will and to do of His good pleasure, you will walk in freedom and you’ll be as effective as it is possible to be and you will grow spiritually in the process.
I understand the reluctance to share our faith with others because I’ve been through it myself. But I didn’t let that stop me. The more I shared, the more confident I became. I act, and as I do, God shows me how. I don’t think about it twice anymore. I’ve learned how to be bold and not obnoxious, when to speak and when not to. Every situation is different so I remain open to God, and yes, I still make mistakes. Many mistakes I imagine. But it’s better to err and move closer to the goal than to never err and be sidelined, which is exactly what God’s enemy wants.
We are all called to share our faith with others whether it’s to one person or a multitude. Let God show you who and when. Act and He’ll show you how. Take baby steps if you need to. God will show you how to stride and then run, and that not in fear.
I’d like to help you overcome anything holding you back from sharing your faith with others. There are ways to share without being obnoxious and without being labeled a fanatic. I offer online training sessions to help you learn how to share your faith with others. These sessions are free as part of the Christian Culture Center “The Salvation Story” project which you can learn more about at our main site.
I encourage you to learn more about God’s request for you share your faith with others. He wouldn’t ask you to do what you cannot do. He wouldn’t ask you to do something that wouldn’t bless you first and foremost. There are many reasons to share your faith and only one that could prevent it. Together we can overcome that reason and you can be free indeed — free to share God’s love with others.
Come on by. Check out The Salvation Story at The Christian Culture Center.