Day 15 – What Is Holding Me Back?
In 1993, 86% of the Church in America believed that sharing the gospel was the responsibility of the individual Christian. Over the following 40 years, Christians that held that belief dropped to a staggering 47%. This shift in perspective has led modern day believers to think that it’s the church organization’s duty to share the faith and not theirs. All through scripture we are being constantly reminded of how Christ died to empower His followers for the expansion of the kingdom, yet our culture has disregarded the importance of personal involvement and has undermined the urgency of the hour.
This would be a much larger chapter if we were to provide an exhaustive list of all the reasons why someone might be hesitant to share their faith. Throughout our years of ministry, we’ve heard reason after reason why people feel that they could never knock on a stranger’s door or approach someone to tell them about Jesus. The most common barrier to evangelism is first fear- fear that we might be rejected, fear of not knowing what we should say, etc. Unfortunately, many do not evangelize because their fear of rejection outweighs their obedience towards God. The sad reality is that we have even made evangelism about ourselves. What would God do in and through a people who fulfill the desires of God, undeterred by the response of others?
This fear of rejection is often rooted in selfishness, pride, or insecurity.
“I don’t think I can handle rejection” or “I don’t think I have the boldness” are often responses of people who haven’t yet surrendered their personal motives or expectations to the Lordship of Christ. Not nearly enough do we witness a consideration of the Father’s heart or the heart of the recipient first; invariably, our carnal nature strives to prioritize ‘self’. This is why anchoring our identity in Christ becomes an indispensable step towards readying ourselves to spread our faith. We can overcome our fear and self-focus by relying on the Holy Spirit as He guides us to walk less in the flesh and more in the Spirit. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Jesus Himself was rejected and persecuted for His message; yet, He continued to represent the Father’s heart on the earth, preaching the truth. The disciples also experienced rejection and persecution for continuing the ministry of His message. Many throughout the course of history have “loved not their lives unto death”, but despite any temporary pain we may encounter, the value of His message remains the same.
Challenge: Be encouraged to push past fear by intentionally seeking out opportunities to engage with someone today who does not know Christ. Ask the Lord to reveal any false-motives, misaligned identity, or pride issues in your life. If there is anything in the world that is worth giving our lives to, it is Him. He is worthy of our “yes”.
Scriptures: Matthew 10:32-33, Matthew 16:24-25, Mark 8:34-35, Luke 9:23-24, 2 Timothy 1:7, Revelation 12:11.
Source: Immerse Ministries, Making Him Known – 30 Day Evangelism Devotional. 2023.
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