Being a shy person by nature, witnessing isn't something that comes
natural for me. Oh, it's easy enough to write about God and send it
across the world to people who you will never meet, but to take those
same words and share them, either in written or verbal form, with those
you interact with on a daily basis, now that's a different story
altogether. Yet Jesus didn't command only the outgoing people of the
world to witness. He commanded this of us all: "Then Jesus came to
them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to
me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am
with you always, to the very end of the age.'" (Matt 28:18-20)
I live in North America where persecution for one's faith is relatively rare. Yet as I read stories of Christians in the persecuted church, I am absolutely amazed at how bold they are with their witnessing. The only down-side for me to witnessing is that some of my friends might think I am a "Bible thumper", a "Jesus Freak", or worse, just plain "religious". But those in the persecuted church are taking their life in their hands just to spread the good news of God's love.
What makes the difference?
Their love for God supersedes their fear. Doesn't God's Word say, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18)?
I have recently been very touched by reading the testimony of a former Muslim girl, published in the book, "Face to Face with Jesus", by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene*. Those she suffered greatly for her faith, this girl loved Jesus so much that she persevered. In the end, she saw the salvation of her entire family.
As I thought about this one morning last week, I could hear God giving me a challenge, a challenge to put aside my shyness, to lay aside my fear of what others would think, and to love Him boldly. I couldn't do it. Not on my own. And the tears coursed down my cheeks as I told God I wasn't courageous enough to do what He asked of me. That's when I clearly heard His voice in my mind: "I will make you bold!" I began to pray, to ask God to empty me of my fear and to fill me with His love, with His boldness, His supernatural courage, His wisdom and discernment. Then I asked Him to open the doors where He would have me witness and push me through them.
I witnessed to three of my patients at work that day. One of them loudly purported that he didn't believe in God. When I heard God's Spirit saying, "Pray for his healing," I asked him if I could pray with him. In tears, he told me I could. The very next day, his health status took a turn for the better. Everyone was amazed at the difference.
Similar things have happened every time I've asked God to make me bold. It is exciting. It makes me wonder why I don't ask God to make me bold all of the time! In fact, maybe I will start doing that! After all, He gave up everything for me; and if I truly love Him the way I feel that I do, how can I not do everything in my power to make Him happy? How can I not do my part in bringing the lost sheep of His fold home to Him?
I know that many of you reading this post are already bold in your witness. But if you are not, then I urge you to join me in falling so deeply in love with God that you can't help but witness. I encourage you to join me in asking Him daily to make you bold. He will respond, it is a prayer He loves to answer. Then sit back in anticipation to see what He is going to do through you!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
*"Face to Face with Jesus" by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene is available on Amazon. Samaa's story will truly change your life.