Are you someone that becomes fearful at the thought of sharing your faith? Well, you are not alone! It is a natural thing to be a little afraid sometimes when you have opportunity to talk about the Lord. Added to that, we need to be aware that the enemy of God can use it as a weapon against us. However, as believers in Christ we have something infinitely more powerful than the enemy - the Holy Spirit, who dwells in the heart of the believer. As a result of this, we can truly stand on the scripture which assures us:
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” 1 John 4: 4
There are four common reasons that cause people to procrastinate about witnessing for Christ. However, I find that although most people genuinely want to obey the commandments of Jesus to the gospel some don’t do so due to feelings of fear. As a result they end up holding back and then feel guilty knowing that they should have spoken out. The main reasons that I have come across are:
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of failure
- Fear of losing a relationship with someone
- A perceived lack of knowledge
The Bible clearly states that we have a most wonderful promise from God, that He doesn’t give us fear or timidity, but instead He gives us power, love and a sound mind. It is incredible when you think about it! You will have no doubt seen yourself how people’s lives are completely changed when they let God come into their hearts.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1: 7
It is at times like this that we need to stand on the word of God and apply it to our lives. I remember a story about a woman who was going through a really difficult situation in her life. She needed an answer from God urgently. While she was praying a particular scripture came to her mind that applied to her circumstances. She took her Bible, placed it on the floor and stood on it, quoting that particular scripture aloud, declaring “Lord I am standing on the word that I believe in my heart that you have given me”. That day she had a massive breakthrough in the situation.
I am not saying that we should do the same, but come to think of it I have done this myself, too. We need to stand on God’s word, believing it in our hearts. Matthew Henry described what the scripture above means like this:
“The spirit of love to God, which will carry us through the opposition we may meet.”
That is a really great way of describing it. We need not fear man or what they will say because the Holy Spirit will always be with us when we take a step of faith and witness.
There are a number of things that we can do which will also help with overcoming fear. Being prepared is absolutely vital when it comes to witnessing, because it gives confidence which will help considerably as we share the good news of the Gospel.
Be prayed up: Pray, trusting that God will lead you to people who not only need to hear the message of the Gospel, but those who are ready for it. God will do it. You will find yourself in all kinds of situations where the door will be supernaturally opened for you to share scripture, your testimony or both. Believe it, it’s a Fact! The evangelist J. John makes an excellent point when he speaks about prayer when he says “When you pray coincidences happen, when you don’t pray, they don’t happen.”
Key Point: Pray trusting that God will lead you to people who are ready for the message
Learn how to present scripture: ‘The Roman Road’ is a very simple way of doing this and it will help to keep you on track. Sharing a few relevant scriptures and explaining them simply will have a massive impact on people. Spending some time learning the scriptures and explanations will build your confidence in your ability. Your confidence will be demonstrated to your listener as you share.
Plan out your testimony: Very often when witnessing your own story of salvation will come up. A simple explanation of what your life was like before you found Jesus, followed by how you found Him and made Him Lord of your life, will always have a great impact. Following up with what Jesus has done in your life since that time (once again) is very powerful, too. Make sure to include scripture in your testimony as it is the word of God, because it is what makes the difference. Remember His word is both living and active.
Expect the Holy Spirit to move: This is very important. The Gospel has a power unlike anything else in the universe. It can soften the hardest of hearts, defeat any kind of logic or worldly belief system and bring a person to a point where they realise they have a huge problem. They come to the realisation that they are lost without Jesus and then understand they need to accept Him as their Saviour. Have a positive attitude and be praying in your mind as you share, asking the Holy Sprit to break down any barriers, open hearts and make blind eyes see. He can do it!
Do what you fear and the fear will disappear: This is a great saying that I learned from a wise old sales manager when I was a young man. When we do what we fear, the fear really will start to disappear. What is more, we have the Holy Spirit with us, who will always back us up!
When we witness for Christ we are never alone. The same Spirit of God that hovered over the earth when it was created will be with you as you tell people about the love of Jesus. Just think of that!