Many Christians dread the three activities that have brought me closest to God. One of those activities is evangelism.
I understand the dread. I am shy, I have never initiated conversation well. Those closest to me will tell you I rarely pick up the phone and call. Shyness is an affliction for me, a thorn. I understand weaknesses; I have many. I appreciate your dread.
But, when God saved me, I committed to do as I was told. I had tried everything else to find joy in my life, find contentment with my maker, and find spiritual answers. When I finally found Him, I knew I was ultimately out of answers on my own. My way was the wrong way. So I resolved that it was His way or bust. And the more I read the Bible, a book filled mostly with stories of people I could relate to, people who didn’t follow His ways, I realized I could stay a fool like them, or be wise and do what He says, so that it may be well with me. It turns out He is right; it is well with us when we do what we are told.
His way is to honor Him by doing as He says. He promises joy if we do what He tells us to do.
When I declare how much of a blessing it is to hold my Daddy’s hand and be with Him while the Gospel drips from my lips, I think few people believe me. I feel like I know a rare secret to obtain joy in the Kingdom. Yet, it is no secret at all: Jesus told the 70 who were giddy after returning from evangelizing, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Luke 10:23-24
Maybe a few of you will believe me and try this approach.
I pray you do because God blesses the obedient in faith.
That may sound like I want you to evangelize to obtain something for yourself, and you might think that doing something for yourself is not love. But if this is the impression, allow me to give you a vital, indeed cornerstone, perspective.
You need to know a principle: As disciples, our blessings magnify when we are close to Him, which creates in us a far better servant!
Are you catching this?
Let me put it another way. If we can fall deeper in love with Him we are blessed, AND we are much better equipped to love others as ourselves.
Stated the third way yet: Jesus’ first commandment begets the second.
Jesus gave us the order of His two most important commandments. Therefore, in one sense, you can phrase it this way: “If you love your Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, you can love your neighbor as yourself.”
This principle of Kingdom living means that you and I should experiment and find the best ways to fall deeper in love with Him. When we do, we are blessed beyond measure AND we want to love others as ourselves.
I have my list of how I grow deeper in love with Him. Evangelism is one of them. When we evangelize, we get a box seat into watching Him work. You can’t help falling more in love with Him when you experience Him choosing which way to turn at the street corner, choosing which person to talk to, choosing your words for you, keeping the conversation pleasant, watching Him keep them interested, watching Him get them excited to start a new relationship with Him. It builds your faith, stimulates your senses for the supernatural, and it is fabulously fun.
Whatever builds your love for Him makes you a better lover of your neighbor. We grow deeper in love when we are closer in a relationship. Evangelism builds a more intimate relationship with God because you do it together. You show up and be a vessel. He will use you. Everyone gets blessed.
Do you see how His economy works? You fall deeper in love with Him by engaging in His will, leading to you getting blessed, leading you to a higher capacity to love others as yourself, which blesses you even more.
Love is a blessing, and it flows. Flow with it.
Many have been praying for workers for the harvest, and you just read this book. That is not a coincidence. If you are shy like me, start by simply walking and praying for the people you see. And let the Holy Spirit move you onward.
When you are ready for your first encounter, notice something about them and remark on it. If they are wearing a military hat, start your conversation there. Find something to break the ice and make a kind remark. Remember you are going to them, in their culture. In some way, connect with them about them.
If that’s as far as the conversation goes, silently pray for them as you walk away. You didn’t fail because the tract is still in your pocket. They encountered the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is with you. They were changed in some small way—and you can be confident God will send the next one along to take them further.
You have no agenda! Relax. He has it all figured out. He knows who, where, and when. You don’t need to force anything.
Enjoy yourself; you are living in the Kingdom! It doesn’t get any better than this.
I am praying for you—go out and bring them the love of Christ, for them, for you, for the glory of our King!
P.S. By the way, the other two activities with the most significant impact in causing me to fall deeper in love with my King: fasting and preaching/teaching scripture.