Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Gospel Can't Do It's Job Unless I Become Billy Graham

Last week, during the EI Youth Conference, we went downtown to pass out tracks.

You want to know the truth? I HATE doing this. It always places an overwhelming burden on my heart and I dislike carrying it around. But, nevertheless, we did. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of just handing out a track - don't get me wrong - I will, but  I like to talk to people about it at least for a second. Well, we were downtown for about 45 minutes. You know how many people took a track?



I asked a lot of people and got flat out rejected every time.

"Ma'am do you have a minute?"
"No, I'm spending time with my family."

"Ma'am do you have a moment?"
"No! I do not!"

"Would you like a free Gospel of John?"
"Uhm, no I don't need one."

The people who did take one were very sweet and allowed me to give them a short gospel presentation - an opportunity I was very thankful for...but, guess what? They were Christians? I mean, I was glad to hear that, but the only people that I spoke with were Christians? Man...I have to trust that God was sovereign over that trip, that something said/done/shared by any of the students that day was eternally impactful.

More and more lately I have the burning desire to share the Gospel with people. A deep, frightening sense of emergency is rising in my heart. I thank God for this burden, but frequently I'm peeved about my clumsy presentation of the Word of God.

Eh. God spoke to me a lot about this at Youth Conference. For the most part, I'm a pretty easily distracted person. Generally, that's due to the enormous amount of things I'm processing at once (I tend to think on a couple different trails at one time). When I open my mouth to say something, a lot of times nothing comes out and I end up having to stop and try to remember what I was saying. Unfortunately, this does carry over into witnessing.

This past week at the conference, I heard several testimonies from people who have been completely changed by Jesus Christ. Some of them had truly crazy stories and you wonder how they survived it all...when each shared, they had a contagious fire in their eyes that I knew could only be attributed to the work of God in them. One of these I am personally acquainted with and I cannot remove the fire of Christ from what I know about him. These people now LIVE FOR GOD. What happened? How have they been so changed?


And guess what? I have that truth in my hands. The Bible. And that Bible says that I am equipped as a believer to share the truth with other people - no matter what I perceive my limitations to be.

So, back to me witnessing. I've definitely pulled a "Moses." I try to find an excuse. "God, I'm awkward with people." "God, I don't talk very well." "God I'm scared." "God, I don't know the Bible well enough yet."

Oh cry.

Really? If I had the cure for AIDS would I say to someone, "Oh I'm sorry, but I can't share the cure with you because I'm a little awkward... Because I don't know the exact words...Because I may not execute very well for various, obscure, unimportant details..." This is what I have done with the truth of the Gospel. Obviously, I have measured the success rate of the Word of God based on my human ability. How offensive to the LORD is that? Yikes. It's like I'm saying:

"If I cannot present the Gospel perfectly, then You can't work, God."
That's not just bad witnessing strategy. That is flat-out rebellion, denial of the power of God, and elevation of the influence of man.

Those people who shared the testimonies of their changed lives weren't led to Christ by famous, amazing speakers like Billy Graham or anything...they were led to Jesus by friends, family members...everyday, normal people. Why do I feel like that's too much for me?

Do I think the Bible says, "Ashley Jones is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword..." NO WAY!!! It says:

The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
Isaiah 55:11 tells us that God's Word always accomplishes its purpose. My purpose as His child is to share it. The result IS NOT my responsibility. But, the Word DOES have to be presented. Who will do it? Am I gonna cower in the corner because I don't have eloquent speech? Are you? God will work and move with His powerful message of life if we speak. If we are going to be cowards with the message of life then we need to examine ourselves and make sure we are believers. If you aren't thankful enough for the grace of God to be compelled to share about it, maybe you didn't receive that grace in the first place.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14).