I have great love for the Lord, but I have a hard time sharing the gospel with non-believers. I am awkward with my words and fumble when I try to bring it up. Fear of rejection keeps me quiet. What do I do?
– Struggling Believer
Dear Struggling Believer,
Have you ever participated in a team building exercise? I am referring to the one where you let yourself fall backwards, while trusting in others to catch you? I have and the first time, especially, is the most mentally challenging. Your mind goes through doubts and bouts of uncertainty and perhaps even panic. However, once you let yourself go, and you find yourself caught by protective arms that keep you from falling, you feel instantly exhilarated and joyful! Without true courage, trust in others, and fighting off the voice of doubt and fear, the beneficial experience is lost. When you do it, you learn that you are not alone, that you will be protected from the fall by something other than your own strength. You must be brave, but you don’t have to brave it alone, because your bravery and courage are met with loving action that saves and protects you.
This is a lot like your faith. Did it ever occur to you how brave you are to act on your faith, especially when you expose or profess it to the world, where many view it as a weakness or even delusional? You demonstrate spiritual strength when you place your trust in the knowledge of God’s love and purpose and it makes you step forward regardless of the outcome. It takes courage to trust that God meets you there and won’t let you fall!
If you are not there yet, you might be wondering how do you get there. The answer is simple: prayer and practice. The only hindrance is your understanding of how God sees you and how much you feel you can trust Him. Do you realize that you are as transparent to God as a drop of water on a lens. He sees through every part of you. There is nothing you can hide from Him: no secret, no undivulged pride, no guilt, no personal struggle or act of love. While praying, it is pointless to not open yourself completely and sincerely before the Lord.
Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.Psalm 97:10 NIV
Prepare your heart and mind to be right with God before you act. Remember, God does not tolerate sin of any kind. In fact, He turns away from it. You have been given the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice so that you are cloaked in His grace, thereby your petitions can be made before God. Still, the only way to be cleansed of sin, which is defined as any thought, word or deed that separates you from God, is through the remission of them. Pray and ask God for forgiveness of your sins, known or unknown, for there may be behaviors, attitudes or actions that you are not recognizing as sin. He wants to cleanse your soul in order to grow your spiritual connection in the best way possible. Once cleansed, your connection is unhindered and trust in Him is strengthened.
Admitting anything that we might see as weakness or inadequacy in ourselves before the Lord is the beginning of a sincere, genuine loving relationship between us and the Father. There is intention in why God created us imperfect. He wants us to need Him, learn the value of trusting Him and placing our hope in Him. He wants to be the author and perfecter of our faith (Ref. Hebrews 12:2). When we feel inadequate, we come before Him and ask for His help. He hears our prayer and responds in grace. How wonderful it is to have a Father who loves us unconditionally. We can always trust He is in our corner if we ask Him to be there!
I profess that I am inadequate on my own when it comes to sharing my faith to non-believers. I don’t always do it right, but when I step out in faith and trust, God always shows up and does something amazing I never anticipated or imagined. He gives me words that impact the person. He calms my Spirit to just plant the seed and let it go, for the work of the Spirit belongs to the Spirit. He subdues my fear and focus on myself, and lets me zero in on the truth of the person in front of me, their pain, their hurt, and reason for their anger and resistance of God’s love.
When I step out with the Holy Spirit leading the way, I am blessed to have experienced how God can do so much with my “so little.” Every sense of accomplishment in my life, comes from a source greater than myself. Miracles, personal success, survival of trauma or removal of abuse, true peace and exuberant joy are all the result of God showing up and intervening on my behalf. Sometimes, when I step out with my “so little” and trust Him for the rest, the answer comes from an unexpected source – either another person steps in to take over, unsolicited prayer and concern comes my way, dramatic change of circumstance shifts my perspective and hope is restored, what appears to be chance encounter (which it isn’t) changes everything in a heart beat, etc. I show up willing to bring my small offering of faith and trust, and God blows me away by answering the call. Where I thought the challenge was on me alone, transforms into a situation where I become a mere witness of something great, something truly miraculous.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”Matthew 8:27 NIV
To be part of that change we must be willing to bring what little faith and hope we can offer to the Lord, and trust that God will use it for His glory. My “so little” is so small that I think of my offering like a single drop of water, where gallons are required to effect a change. By the amazing nature of the Holy Spirit the multitudes gather together to join me and my life and faith is changed forever.
God is the Creator of all things, including us. Just as every drop of rain is designed for the purpose of replenishing moisture to the earth, we are designed with a collective purpose as well – to share His love and grace with the world. To honor and praise Him. One drop of rain does very little on its own. However, combine enough droplets and a rain shower forms that can transform the landscape. Puddles become streams, become rivers, etc. Plants grow and flowers bloom. Insects thrive and life is renewed and flourishing. It is the same with sharing our faith.
The Holy Spirit works through us all, connecting believers and transforming us in thought and action – making an impact through our prayer and thought life and our spiritual connection to God and His will for our life. Sharing that beauty is a gift to others.
Even how I am responding to your question, requires a great deal of spiritual connection and trust in our Lord. Without the Holy Spirit in command of my writing, every shared thought would be pointless – just letters and phrases on a page. It only has value if the message is God breathed – His message flowing directly to you, the reader. If it touches you in a deep and meaningful way, if it speaks to you and addresses your private thoughts never shared with anyone but God, than it is as it should be and I thank the Holy Spirit for His inspiration. Remember to act as the Spirit encourages or convicts. Don’t fool yourself that it isn’t powerful. It is a message from God to you so don’t squander it! When you do act on it, He will show up and walk alongside you. Know it and believe it!
Trust God and His promises to keep you, never leave you nor forsake you. He promises to give you a hope and a life worth living. Please take my advise. Don’t try to hold yourself together by your own strength or try to prove your faith by going it alone. Trust God will be there to catch and use you. Let yourself fall into His care, for the Lord has command over water and the seas. Allow yourself to be gathered up by Him, like moisture in the clouds. That way you can be part of the down pour of His grace. It is then you will make a worthy splash!
Heavenly Father, What a true comfort to know that You love us so greatly that You sacrificed your son so that we could have a way back into a right relationship with You. Praise our Lord Jesus for his life, sacrifice, death, and resurrection. We come before You in prayer and ask for your guidance and protection as we step out into the world to share the gospel. Fortify us with the knowledge of your love for us and your promises to never leave us or forsake us. If we must face adversity, fears, or if we must fall, we can be brave knowing that You are there to catch us. Thank You for the blessing of your unconditional love and faithfulness.
If you have a question or comments please feel free to share. Private thoughts or prayer requests can be submitted to my personal email at: firstname.lastname@example.org