Do you ever get that feeling where you’re about to quit because you cannot go any further and suddenly you find the strength to go further than you ever have before? For example, I used to play tennis and football with friends and I would always tire out before everyone else but when the end of the game was on the line, I felt like a new person and had somehow regained a huge portion of my energy. Another example is when you go for a run and think to yourself, I can’t go any further but somehow you miraculously kick into another gear. We have all experienced this physical strength come upon us, but why doesn’t this happen in our spiritual lives as open? Simply, because we are not open to letting the Spirit move in us.
For the past three years, I have come back from a mission trip called Beach Reach with a promise to do more in my spiritual life. I promise I will share the Gospel with this many people. Or I promise I’m going to pray every day for these people or these things. Every year, I come back from Beach Reach amazed by all of the awesome work done in everyone’s lives. For example, do you know how amazing it is to see a hundred people in a prayer all crying out to God at one time and then everyone shouting with joy when someone comes to Christ? Do you know how incredible it is to see someone who had a hardened heart towards Christians, says “Before tonight I had met only one Christian who wasn’t judgemental towards me and that I liked, and tonight I just met another”?
Maybe I should be asking do you know how to continue your ministry outside of a mission trip? Every year I experience something along the lines of the first two and then I start doing this last question, but I fall short. Every year, I experience another wind to do better in this last part but every year the wind leaves. That is until this year I hope.
I heard a message one night that talked about Romans 1: 14-16. It reads:
14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,[a] both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The message focused on the three things Paul said about sharing the Gospel. First, I am under obligation. Second, I am eager. And third, I am not ashamed. I had trouble understanding this first point for a while. I think it was the self-righteousness in me that made me feel like if I was just sharing the Gospel when I felt good about it, then I was upholding the obligation. But the more and more the week went on, I understood. How can I only be a Chrisitan when I felt like it? I mean that’s probably one of the most hypocritical things I could do and it hit me. That was what I had been doing.
The second point was about being eager to share the Gospel. I spent time reflecting on this as well. Was I truly convinced that Jesus died for your sins and mine? Was Jesus’ story of grace and redemption for all who wanted it, really true for me? After pondering this question, yes I was but I was not living into the eagerness. If I wasn’t eager to show the love of God and share the Gospel with those I met, then how could I know that my heart was in the right place? I don’t think I could’ve known.
The last point was about being unashamed of sharing the Gospel. Paul was literally in the place where he would die years later. This is the place where if Paul wanted to be afraid this was it. But he was unashamed. Paul knew the Gospel was true and he knew that each and every person should have the opportunity to know Jesus as their Savior. How come I couldn’t be like that? I mentioned in my last post that I had dealt with insecurities all of my life about how people viewed me and how I wanted to fit in. As I realized this, a wave of compassion washed over me. It all made sense now. The song “No Longer Slaves” came to my mind. The words “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God” and “We’ve been liberated from our bondage” rang over and over again. And suddenly, I realized that my fear was gone.
It all made sense now. It was because of my insecurities that I felt I ashamed and uneager and unobligated to share the Gospel. These insecurities felt like leeches that were slowly sucking me down, but by the power of the wave of God that came over me, I was free.
Every year, I was taught how to share the Gospel. But I don’t think I ever fully submitted my insecurities when thinking about sharing the Gospel. I hate to use the saying “The third time is the charm”, but that’s what it feels like. This year felt challenging at times but for once, I felt fully comfortable to share the Gospel and talk about Beach Reach with anyone and everyone.
I’m kinda sad it took me three years to realize this, but I praise God that I finally did. I think it was a way of God helping me grow towards the joys that God has planned.
If you’ve read this far, you might be thinking How do I do this then? Simply, two things: Submit yourself and any insecurities (view of others, view of self, lust, etc.) to God and begin to live your life instead of wasting it. If you can humble yourself before God and confess the ways you have held on to your past, I truly believe God will be by your side and lead you away from these areas in your life. Do this with a partner and have them pray over you while you submit your life.
In the book of Philippians, Pauls says:
20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
We live our life by showing everyone the true and awesome power of God to everyone. We begin to live when we realize that everything else in this life will not be able to compare to the riches and glories that God has created for us. We begin to live when we realize that the ransom that was paid for us, was more than we could ever ask for. It is in these ways that we become obligated, eager, and unashamed to share the Gospel.
This is my prayer for everyone: I pray that our hearts would be revived to live into these ways. I pray that the Gospel would ring true and we would gain that second or third or fourth or how ever many winds this may be and that we would begin to show and live the Gospel to all of those that we meet. I pray that hearts would be softened by God and we would go wherever the Spirit leads us.
Thank y’all for reading! If you have any comments or anything, please share. I know I’m not perfect and would love to hear what y’all think!