The feelings of inadequacy are one of the greatest barriers a sincere Christian must overcome to be an evangelist.
These feelings can either paralyze or be a prompt to discover that a Christian’s greatest strength lies outside of themselves.
Proclaiming the gospel is not about ourselves, but the power of Christ in us. The Holy Spirit transforms us from timid, spiritual weaklings, to towering pillars of strength that can do all things… including evangelism.
The Apostle Paul understood that. Readily confessing his weaknesses, Paul knew and experienced that in his weakness there is strength.
He was not alone. Moses. Gideon. David. Abraham. These were Old Testament heroes who were fragile, ordinary men who relied on God to do miraculous deeds in His name.
There is one man in the Old Testament that we will focus on who can serve as a great example on how to be evangelists in today’s world.
God uses weaklings to achieve great victories and Samson is a great example of that.
We often picture Samson as a large man with bulging muscles who could easily audition as a professional wrestler.
The Bible describes him with long hair, a brash personality, and an insatiable appetite for women. The Bible does not describe Samson as a 6’6”, 250-pound monster, so we could assume that he was a man with an ordinary build who stood apart from the world because of who he is – a Nazirite.
I think a more accurate illustration could be a 5’6”, 105-pound weakling rather than a towering man with great strength.
Why? Samson’s strength came directly from the Lord.
Here are three examples:
- When Samson was attacked by a young lion by the vineyards of Timnah, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him,” (Judges 14:6) and he tore apart the lion with his bare hands.
- After Samson confided the answer to a riddle to his pestering young wife, “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power,” (Judges 15:14) and he struck down thirty Philistines.
- When the Philistines tried to tie him down, “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power.” (Judges 15:14) And “the ropes on his arms became like charred flax.”
Despite Samson and his propensity to sin, the Lord used him to accomplish great things.
The Lord eventually humbled Samson due to his carelessness. Imprisoned by the Philistines, eyes gouged out, and humiliated, Samson was chosen to be paraded before the rulers and pay tribute to their god.
Samson prayed, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more.” (Judges 16:28) After placing his hands on two central pillars, he pushed with all his might and the temple came down. Over three thousand people were killed — including many of the rulers of Philistine.
The secret of Samson’s strength was the power of the Holy Spirit.
The secret of a Christian’s strength to share the gospel of Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit.
“In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.” (Isaiah 45:24)
In our eyes, we see ourselves as weaklings. Timid. Ill-equipped. Powerless.
In God’s eyes, we are Samson. Powerful. Bold. Courageous. Because He supplies the power, strength, and boldness.
When confronted with the commission to proclaim, we tend to look in the mirror rather than the promises God gives us in His Word. When we do that, we gouge our vision and become blinded to see the lost. Instead, by looking at God’s promises, we see that the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. Like Samson, we easily get distracted by the pleasures of the world. Carelessness can chain us with timidity to step out in faith to share our faith with others.
Too often when God provides us with an opportunity to proclaim His name, we fail to go to the Lord for strength, power, and wisdom.
Samson gives us a great example. At his weakest, he went to the Lord for strength. And we can too!
We can pray,
“O Lord, the Ruler of the universe and Creator of the heavens and the earth. Remember me and grant me Your strength to carry out Your commission to proclaim Your name. I am weak, Lord. But in You, I find strength. Place me besides the strong pillars of sin and pride that separate people from You. Do not allow me to be intimidated by them – and how people may respond to me when I proclaim Your name. By the power of Your Word, I trust that these pillars can fall – especially to those who appear to be not interested or defiant to Your message. Strengthen me, O Lord, so that I may be Your ambassador and proclaim Your message of salvation. For I know it is Your desire that all people come to the knowledge of the Truth and be saved from the consequences of their sins. In Your powerful name, I pray. Amen.”
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