Many times Christians retreat from the command to follow Jesus in word and deed. Sharing the good news without living it out in good works is the height of hypocrisy.
Our Lord commands both when we profess Him publicly. The transformation that takes place when Christ captures us is all encompassing. As my friend Eric Metaxas likes to say, “Jesus changes everything.”
Our biggest issues in publicly identifying with Christ are fears of others’ opinions when we bring Jesus to the table of conversation. Most people embrace God with an attitude that everyone believes in something. We can talk about anything religious as long as it’s open on both ends, but the exclusivity of Jesus splits the crowd.
If we fear the opinions of men more than the opinion of God, we will remain silent. If we’re driven by the love of Christ, we will be motivated to step into momentary rejection to make way for God to work.
In fear, our call still is to obey in word and deed because we know in our obedience the Holy Spirit begins to work behind the curtain of a person’s life. When we lovingly and graciously speak the truth in love, the sovereign Lord of the universe moves.
“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’” -Acts 18:9-10
In this passage Paul is ministering to people in Corinth. We know during this stretch of ministry, Paul was weak, fearful, and trembling (1 Corinthians 2:2-3). Despite his emotional and physical state, God tells him to set aside his fears and speak.
Paul didn’t toy with the option to not obey God’s command to keep speaking. Out of his obedience a church was born, 1 and 2 Corinthians were written, and billions have been and will continue to be impacted for the Kingdom. Paul had no idea what the ripple effect of his obedience would accomplish, but he was confident God would be glorified.
We have a God who longs to prove Himself strong to those who obey Him. If we pick and choose what to say based on what’s comfortable in conversation, we may miss the opportunity to witness God’s power on display. In our fears, we must cry out for a heart of obedience.
Obedience is the need of the hour. God stands ready to meet us in His truth when we obey Him. Revival comes when we get off our knees and obey our divine call.
We have a wonderful Savior. Go tell someone about Him today.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.