Matters of the Heart
I'm a missionary and have been for a long time. Some may think I never get scared to share my faith and share all the time, with anyone I am talking to for more than 5 minutes. Well, let the myth be busted. I still get scared. I come from a long history of fear. I know fear. And it's just a few lies away from engulfing me again.
Here's His-story (His past working in my heart) in my life.
For the first 10 years of my Christian life I didn't share the gospel. I loved God and cared about the lost. I invited people to church and desperately wanted them to turn to Jesus but I just didn't share with them. I am not sure why. Fear, doubt, unbelief, insecurity, not knowing what to say all played a part.
1 year after turning to Christ, the Lord prompted me to share the best I knew how with this kid, Mark. I've always been an expert at rationalizing. I rationalized my way out of it, convincing myself somone else would share with him someday. He committ suicide later that year. I still didn't share.
I've experienced the more you rationalize, the more you justify, the harder your heart becomes. After 10 years I may have been the most hard hearted person against evangelism that ever was. Seriously. I hated people who shared their faith. I honestly thought they were offending people so badly and I was the one who was have to going to swoop in and win them back over to not thinking Christians were psycho. .
as He promises of completing the good work He started in me, began to soften.
God brought light to my stony heart.
I saw two of my friends sharing the gospel, a lot. These were guys I respected which made it hard for me to disreguard and hate them like I had others. God opened my eyes to what He was doing. Through these godly, flawed young men, the Lord was bringing people into His kingdom. It caused me to process my own experience. How many people had I had the opportunity to share with using my strategy of waiting till they asked me? None. No one had ever asked. I was among the 96% of Christians who go to thier grave never having shared the gospel. Never having even starting the mission Jesus gave to me while on this planet. God humbled me.
Letting go of my arrogance and hardness, I offered just a sliver of willingness, a willing to see. I decided to ask one of these guys (now my wise husband) to talk to me the way he would share the gospel with a non-believer. It was a test to see if I would be offended. He shared, I felt respected and cared for. My walls began to come down. I decided to take the next step in this experiment and initiate conversation about the gospel with someone using the 4 laws. I was willing to initiate. As God promises, He came through and showed me how He was working in that persons life. It was beautiful. God changed my hard, stony heart into a soft willing one. Oh Lord, You are amazing!
I want to know God, deeply, inimately. But He tells me that if I am not active in sharing the gospel I wont know as much of Him as I could. "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Philemon 6 So by the strength of the Holy Spirit I step into the fear and initiate breaking the sound barriers, I initiate conversation about the gospel and leave the results up to God.
But it takes work for me. For me it take weekly accountability, goal setting and planning because at this time in my life when time is more valuable than money, when I have 3 kids 4 and under demanding everything I have, I can easily go large spans of time never having initiating. I honestly have to think, "Where am I going to be today? Who will I come in contact with? How can I initiate conversation with them?"
I take courage that I am not alone in my fear. Paul, who seems so fearless said he came to the Corinthians in weakness in fear and much trembling. So comforting! Perhaps you relate with me to?
Under the Life on Mission tab there are a bunch of resources that help in evangelism if it would be a blessing to you, check it out. Hope my story of God taking the hardest of hearts and softening is an encouragement somehow to you today.
#232 New ideas to help students grow on campus
#233 Ideas of things to do with the boys
#234 Wisdom given about what to do about the boys prescool vs homeschool
#235 A great reteat home to take girls for a girls retreat soon
#236 A little baby girl who is so flexible
I'm linked with these awesome ladies
The Beauty in His Grip, Laura Boggess, Pause on the Path, Finding Heaven Today, Nebraska Graceful and A Holy Experience
Wow! Can I ever relate! Fear gripped me for so long...I think mainly because someone near and dear to me I longed to help and they wouldn't hear me. In fact, they belittled me when I tried. I am just beginning to feel the confidence that God wants us to have as we share the gospel. My experience has been limited...written words and a few conversations, but I pray that my life has also told the story. Thank you for this encouraging post. I'm going to look at your evangelism tab for more resources!!
The transformation you share here is cause for great celebration. You inspire me, Laura. I've never been on a mission trip...have longed to but...waiting for the yes. I so respect and admire your courage. Being brave is saying yes despite that fear, right? I'll be praying for you, friend.
Thank you Florence. He just used a track called the 4 laws. But as we read it together he would ask me engaging questions where I got to share where I was coming from and what I thought. Simple questions like, "Have you heard that before?", "What do you think that verse is saying?"
10/10/2011 11:26:47 pm
YOU need about 15 like buttons! You have no idea how much you have blessed my socks off today! Thank you so much for this Laura!
10/11/2011 06:25:35 am
Thank you for sharing your story. It's amazing how God is so patient with us and how He never gives up on us, isn't it?
Laura, thank you so much for sharing this. I'm a shy person. SO shy. I want to be a missionary in some sort or fashion, but I'm not sure how. I don't have one of those big conversen stories (I got saved when I was 11 in the bathroom at VBS lol). But I have this deep need to share God and Jesus with people. Lots of praying to do. Oh and I have 3 kids under 7 my self (I had 3 under 5 at one time). Again, thanks so much for posting this. It actually answered some questions I have in my own life :)
10/12/2011 02:19:28 pm
whoa! Laura I am so glad that THIS post of all posts got so much positive feedback!!! The harvest is plentiful!
This post really speaks to me. My husband shares the gospel with any and everyone, but always lead by God. Me on the other hand have a hard time speaking about it with my own friends. I'm encouraged to start speaking in ways I know how to and see where God takes me from there. Thank you for this post.
Thank you so much for sharing this. It is wonderful that you shared some resources as well! I too, have been caught in the not wanting to be obnoxious trap and waited until someone asked. You are right, no one asks. They have to know you're a Christ follower in order to ask questions. Thank you for your honesty!
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