Why do many of us refuse to go public with our identity in Christ and His gospel message of redeeming love?
Even though the Cross and resurrection of Christ is the only hope for our family, friends, business associates, and neighbors, we still struggle with fears of rejection, poor speech, and the opinions of man. We know the truth and have experienced the reality of Christ’s indwelling presence, yet many of us remain silent when it comes to the gospel.
A difference I’ve observed between the First Century Church and the American Church today is that they were on the offensive with their faith. We, too, are called to “storm the gates of hell” as Jesus transforms lives around the world through us. But instead, we are retreating.
To me the issue is simple. It boils down to us not really believing God when He says He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We don’t truly believe our Savior promised us power through His Holy Spirit to enable us to be witnesses in “Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Here’s the big question we must ask ourselves: Do we believe the promises that God will use us even if we feel like failures when it comes to speaking up and stepping out with the gospel?
When we obey Him by sharing this saving message, we release the Presence of God regardless of the outcome of our conversation. And I would rather obey and seemingly fail than not obey at all.
Through our obedience, God works.
He promises that His Word will never return empty (Isaiah 55:11). He is always at work behind the curtain when His truth is present, even if we tremble while sharing it or are mocked because of it.
We do not need to be “super saints”. Remember, this is how the Apostle Paul described his own witness to the Corinthians.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. -1 Corinthians 2:2-5
The Apostle Paul presented the gospel with fear and trembling, and the Church of Corinth was brought to life through his obedience. Today, his courage in the face of fear continues to encourage us to step out in faith to let God do His glorious work.
Could it be that our fears are used by the Lord to open doors for us to walk in His Presence and draw our networks to believe in Him? It appears this how He operates.
Lord, give us a “Jesus experience” of rejection this week, knowing that you are at work. Give us the courage to fail for Your Name’s sake as You use our rejection to bring honor and glory to Yourself. Use our weaknesses to show Your strength by drawing people to Yourself. Amen.
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.