Evangelism can be a scary word.
I refer to it as the E-word because its frightening. It makes us feel unsafe.
We feel especially vulnerable because the E-word places us in the position of being rejected and ridiculed for something that is very important and dear to us — our relationship with Christ.
I can relate to these fears and have learned that it does not have to be that way. When tongue-tied at the prospect of sharing my faith, I have learned a few lessons to help loosen my tongue when God provides opportunities.
God’s Word constantly reminds us of our sinful nature and its absorption with self. We tend to look into the mirror of our own inadequacies and allow that image to dictate our words and actions. Instead, God calls us to break the mirror and the image we see by confessing our sins and our need of Christ. A rebooting of the soul is required.
Lesson #1: Use the plug God gives us through faith and plug it into the only power source that will enable us to share the light of Christ and the power of His Word.
By relying on the power and the strength of His Word, we no longer focus on our words.[Becoming a Children of Light — Plugging into the right power source to proclaim the source of Truth.]
It seems that the Apostle Paul did his best work in chains. From writing epistles under house arrest in Rome, to proclaiming the testimony of Christ before rulers, the Lord kept Paul in chains while proclaiming our freedom in Christ.
Paul’s chains prohibited him from going on mission journeys. He could no longer preach the gospel to the multitudes. Instead, Paul’s chains gave him private audiences. They opened doors of opportunities he never imagined.
God used Paul’s chains to proclaim His glory and carry out His will.
What are your chains? Are there specific circumstances that prohibit you from sharing God’s Word? Perhaps there are chains that you have attached instead of God?
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” (Colossians 4:3)
Fear binds many Christians in chains.
In some ways, fear can be good. A healthy fear of the Lord brings wisdom and reliance on him. Without fear, there can be no courage — and it takes courage to proclaim our faith.
For most of us, fear binds and gags us from sharing God’s Word with others.
Sharing the message of Christ does not mean standing up before audiences to be judged or ridiculed, but seeking an audience of one. Like Paul, we can do our best work in chains. We can acknowledge our fears and shaking knees. By doing so, we exhibit a sincerity in our faith that our world longs to see. We become real in our faith. Fear prompts us to rely on God and ask Him for help. Fear acknowledges that we cannot proclaim the message of Christ on our own, but rely solely on His strength.
Lesson #2: If you are a fellow member of the tongue-tied club and do not have the spiritual gift of evangelism, you are not alone. I have learned to embrace fear and acknowledge my chains of timidity. By God’s power, we no longer need to be prisoners to the cruel master of fear, but daily lift our chains to a welcoming Savior who continually sets us free. Fear grants us opportunities to experience the presence of Christ and receive the strength, courage to proclaim His message of hope, healing, and truth.[More encouragement for the tongue tied: Grabbing Opportunities and Entrusting the results to God.]
We can pray this day:
“Lord, you have chosen me to be your messenger, your ambassador, your light in consuming darkness. Through the power of Your spirit, allow me to acknowledge my fears and use them for Your good. Through fear, I gain wisdom. With wisdom, I receive confidence. With confidence, I have peace. I bring to you a willing heart to be your servant. I trust that you will open my eyes and my ears to opportunities to plant the seeds of Your Word in the hearts of those whom you place in my presence. Open those doors that I cannot open. And use me, Lord, to be the sower of your gospel seeds. In that process, Lord, grant me that joy of sowing. Amen.”