Adapted by Richard L. Burguet • Each One Reach One •
Obeying the Lord in the area of personal evangelism can indeed be scary. Just the thought of rekindling friendships with un-churched folks, turning conversations to spiritual issues, asking for a response to the hard truths of the Scripture, or pointing out the need to repent can make even the most mature believer join Jonah on the next boat to Tarshish!
But notice the refreshing transparency of the Apostle Paul. He openly admitted that he “did not come with superiority of speech or wisdom.” Rather, he came in “weakness and in fear and in much trembling” to serve and love his unbelieving friends in Corinth. (1 Cor 2:1-5) Remember how Moses responded when he was asked by the Lord to leave his comfort zone to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to the promised land. He pleaded, “O Lord, please send someone else!” (Ex 4:13) When Solomon and Jeremiah were challenged to take a stand for the Lord in their culture, they both tried to excuse themselves by exclaiming, “I do not know how to speak, for I am only a child.” (1 Kgs 3:7, 9; Jer 1:6) And don’t forget good ole Timothy, who needed constant encouragement because of his timidity. (2 Tm 1:6-9; 4:5-8)
God’s response to His often frozen chosen has always been, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9) We must believe that God has given us all that is needed to succeed where He has called us to serve! One way of viewing fear is through the acrostic: False Evidence Appearing Real. We become fearful when it appears that God is not present in our circumstances or He is not working in the heart of our friend, yet we know that He is.
The only biblical antidote to fear is God’s love. 1 John 4:18 teaches that only His “perfect love casts out all fear.” The more you personally experience God’s love and recognize His love for your friend, the less fear will grip your heart. That’s shy Jesus’ promise to “be with us wherever we go” in order to share His Great Commission is so encouraging (Mt 28:20).
God has provided ample evidence of His unlimited power, unfathomable wisdom, and sovereign grace to propel you forward with courage and compassion to walk your friend through the salvation process. Personal evangelism does not have to be frightening. In fact, as you take small obedient steps of faith, sharing Christ with others will become an exhilarating and rewarding experience and lifestyle.
Paul taught the church at Philippi to “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7) So, let’s do it!
I challenge you this day to write a prayer acknowledging your greatest fears and anxieties, leaving them in the capable hands of the Lord. NOW!