Since coming back from overseas, I often struggle with an old old problem. Honestly, I struggled with it before my “official” missionary service too. This problem is one of those things (ideas, notions, failings) that makes people very uncomfortable when you talk about it out loud. Let’s call it evangelistic apathy.
Sunday after Sunday, thousands upon thousands of comfortable Christian folks sit in our collective church pews or cushy auditorium seats and never even consider sharing the Gospel with voice or deed. At this point, some of you are probably ready to stop reading. You do not want to be confronted with a grouchy old missionary type, preaching at you. Slow down! Let me confess that this is also my struggle. Many things in life have the capacity to sideline us as believers. Preachers, deacons, Sunday school teachers, and missionaries have this struggle at times too. The pressures of life, needs of our families, personal tragedy, and personal sin affect all of us. It is not easy to stay consistent in our witnessing or our efforts to carry out good deeds that should result from our faith in Christ. However, we must do our best to press on and spread the Good News.
Now, maybe you will read on. This article is not designed to pound you over the head with my sense of spiritual frustration, but it is designed to remind us all of a harsh reality. The world is filled with lostness and the Lord is certainly coming back soon. Time is drawing nearer for His return.
If we are not careful, the devil will succeed in tricking us. He will do his best to cause us to become watchers rather than participators for the sake of the Gospel. It is sort of like this… if the devil can fill your mind with worry, disappointment, dissatisfaction, frustration, and the like… the result is like straining to listen to a radio station that is just out of reach. You keep trying to focus on the garbled words, but mostly, all you hear is static. Make sense? If the devil can fill your life with the static of the world, you just cannot seem to hear the voice of God clearly. His Holy Spirit seems far far away. So, what then can we do my friends?
An honest talk with ourselves and God should be first. Why are we watchers? Why are we apathetic to the need to spread the Gospel? Could it be…
- You are self-absorbed and prideful. All you think about is climbing the ladder of the American dream. You use all of your energies to purchase a bigger house, a nicer car, the new iPhone 6, the latest designer jeans, or some other new toy. You work, work, work in a materialistic frenzy and have no energy left to become evangelistic. If this is your situation, it is time to re-evaluate things with a spiritual lens. Your priories need to change.
- Maybe, you are simply frightened to exercise these new spiritual muscles. Possibly, you are a new believer in Jesus and feel intimidated to get off the bench and participate in the Great Commission. I can remember those days. You are not alone – that is the point. Find a brother or sister that will walk with you in this journey, someone you trust to give you wise counsel and demonstrate a model of evangelism. It is actually much easier than you may think. Just tell your story. That is what lost people need to hear – the story of what your life was like before you accepted Jesus, how you came to accept Jesus, and what life has been like since then.
- Maybe, the “static” has grown so loud in your life that you just cannot seem to tune in to the will of God anymore. The devil has succeeded in swamping your soul with the cares of the world, the concerns of your vocation, the expectations of your peers, or personal sin. If this is your situation, it is time to start eradicating the static by drawing closer to the source of the clean, pure signal – God. Ignore the devilish static and focus on your relationship with God. Do what you already know to do. Read the Bible regularly, commune with the Father through dedicated consistent prayer time, and surround yourself with fellow believers who are doing the same. As you do this consistently, you will notice that the static starts to clear and the voice of God becomes easier to hear. Try it. Do it. It works!
I could go on and on about the subject. If you have read through this article and it pricked your heart, maybe it is time to change. Get off the sidelines of service. Stop watching and start participating. Instead of pouring out your energy offering into the world of self-absorption, pour it into the Great Commission. A lost world needs you to share your story with them. If you need one verse of scripture to get you started, try this one: Mark 16:15.
God bless you and get going.