As I wrote briefly in a previous letter to you, I am known as an adamant man, especially when it comes to the word of God, the Scriptures, for they are the only real truth in this world. This conviction that I have been blessed with I do not expect in others that I meet that profess Christ as Savior, nevertheless, it is a trait that I would hope to see in all His children. Because I can be over-adamant at times though, there are people that tend to view me as intimidating, for in these moments I feel, as it were, driven by my love for our Lord, and a great desire to speak His truths. But sometimes, I tend to lead the conversations, answering my own questions, and on those occasions, I give those present little time to respond. It is something I pray about and am doing my best to listen to my wonderful wife’s advice on this matter, for I trust her implicitly.
In my vocabulary though, the word infuriating in this context I can comprehend, but the word intimidating carries a connotation of fear, or perhaps a phrase that is best left to those who are easily persuaded, not quite secure in their own faith yet. Even with the continual assistance of my caring wife and a trusted, God-fearing friend, both who fully understand the terminology that fits me so well that, “he who has been forgiven much, loves much.” I still have difficulty listening and instead perhaps speak more than I should to some, so, if you have an open spot in your prayer life, please keep me in mind.
I do have difficulty though understanding how some of those who call themselves Christians are so fearful to speak to others about Christ, how some seem to have “lit their candle,” (Luke 8:16) but then place it in the closest, how so many seem to have a “lukewarm” (Rev. 3:16) attitude toward the Word of God and clearly speaking it to those they meet. It has always amazed me how you can be around a group of men and women at a mid-week Bible study who seem alive and responsive to the Scriptures, yet when you see them in a small crowd of their unsaved friends later in the week, it is as if they are a different person, for the glory of God’s mercies are far from their lips. It is almost as if an innate, deep seated fear of offending them has taken over their demeaner, or as if an embarrassment of being termed a derogatory name for being a Christian leads their words.
I d not know if every single person that crosses our path is our responsibility, as it were, if God has placed them in our presence because either they or we need to hear something from Him, to learn something more about our Lords will for our life. I must disagree somewhat with my friend I spoke of earlier though, for I still believe that if the conversations that we have with others, our dialogue that last longer than a short hello, does not include something from the Word of God, even if it is only a short testimony or verse that will lift up the Name of His Son, then not only was it a useless conversation, but it served no purpose in the eternal.
We must use spiritual discernment with all that cross our path, for some may not know our Lord, others may have just begun their walk with Him, but the ones I am speaking of here are those who have claimed to be Christians for some time, but are still in the “milk of the Word.” (Heb. 5:13) If you read these verses, you can begin to see the writers frustration as he speaks of those and their lack of desire to grow in grace, a response I can identify with.
Anyone can speak truth, if they so desire, but to speak truth in love boldly with confidence can only be given to us by the Holy Spirit, and therein is where the Lord is doing a work in my heart, and perhaps yours also. When you read the account of David and Goliath, do you feel emboldened, when you recall Gideon’s army being reduced from thousands to only 300, and still winning the battle, do you feel strength surge thru you from the Lord, when you ponder the power behind Peters thoughts as he drew his sword in the garden, do you feel confidence? When you know without question that you are a servant of the Most High God, that your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior is irrevocable, that the might, strength and love of our Lord rest within you by the power of the Holy Spirit, does your confidence swell, your faith increase, have the words ‘humility’ and ‘submissive’ become a part of your normal thought processes. If your faith in Christ is growing because the trust He has shown you in Himself is worthy, then your confidence should be growing also.
What we like to call “the great commission” (Mark 16:15) does not have an exclusion clause for some, it is inclusive and expected of all God’s children. That does not mean that every lost soul needs to hear and understand the entire Romans roadway to life, but it does mean that they should know for a fact, whenever possible, that when they leave your presence, they were just speaking to a servant of Christ. I do not like to recall the many times that I have spoken to someone who has attended church for the majority of their lives tell me, “That’s between me and God” when a simple subject has come up, much less the times that not one word in a conversation comes from them about their walk with the Lord, or how He has blessed them recently. In fact, many times when I bring up the subject of Scripture, the exchange of words is over, and they tend to leave with a look on their face I would rather not express to you here.
Tell me, my friend, where should my confidence be lacking. If He “will never leave me or forsake me” (Heb. 13:5) why should not the faith that He has blessed me with be trusted. I have yet to come to a conclusion as to whether or not those who say they are Christians, yet are not professing His name to others, are “seeking the praise of men…” (John 12:43) for if they are not, it is either embarrassment, a lack of concern for the eternal welfare of those they meet, or they have a reason for not speaking His name to others that I cannot understand. Do they believe that it is the person who stands at the pulpit’s responsibility, and they will ‘ride in on their coat-tails?’ It is a mystery to me.
Our Lord loves us so much that he accepted us right where we were, steeped in sin, (Rom. 5:8) but I do not believe He will leave us, or allow us, to stay there. “Perfect love cast out fear” (1st John 4:18) this is His love toward us, for we do not have perfect love, but we do have fear, and fear is the opposite of confidence. Our fears rest in us and they can be brought out by others, therefore a lack of confidence, trust and faith are all tied together by fear, and many times this embarrassment I speak of is caused by the fear of what others would think of us if we proclaim His love for them to them.
Would you have any trouble witnessing to a tree, would it be difficult for you to proclaim the good news to a sign-post, would you be embarrassed telling a blade of grass about Jesus? I am not of course lumping eternal souls together with the temporal, earthly things, but the analogy fits, for in a sense fear is in the eye of the beholder, and those who have beheld the face of our Savior should know no fear. “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence.” (Prov. 14:26)
Confidence comes from faith in Christ as Lord, faith is a gift of God to all that have a strong confidence in Him. It is that simple.
We serve an infinite God, the creator of all reality, and love is His message, and the message He wants us to tell others. Encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ to speak that message boldly and with confidence whenever possible, to whomever will listen, for faithful and worthy is He who sent you to do so.