When is the last time you’ve had a day that changes things? You know one of those landmark, milestone, game changing days? This past Sunday, was one of those days for me.
Since coming to Christ, I have felt a pull to evangelism but at the same time a big amount of fear of man that collides with the calling to share Jesus with those around me. Sometimes when facing the world everyday, you get overwhelmed with how many people are really anti-Jesus. Knowing that frightens me that people might reject me as I share. It comes down to fear of others outweighing fear of the Lord. 😦 I feel called by God to bring others to Him ever since He brought me home, but I have gotten comfortable with simply sharing online and that is good but that is not the type of relational connection that God really would have me to leverage for the kingdom. I say all this to set up the game changing day that Sunday became.
God took me through the circular continuum of evangelism it seemed. It all started minutes before I entered church.
I was early for once and decided to spend a few minutes in prayer and worship in my car. During this brief time I was struck by a desire to pray for a gentleman in a car a few rows in front of me. I began wondering if he knew the Lord and then it was put on my heart to go and speak with him. I immediately dismissed this thought as crazy, because my fear winning in this situation had become more common place than I’d like to admit. I quickly filled my head with other thoughts, like the fact that I needed lotion on my ashy elbows before entering church. I began the search in my back seat in a travel bag that I keep that incidentally had no lotion but suspiciously still contained an unopened CD. This was not just any CD, but one of many that I had purchased a couple years ago with the specific intent on handing it out to those who needed the message of Christ and forgiveness of sins. It was called the Invitation, narrated by Rick Warren. In that instant, I felt like this was God saying, I’ve made it easy for you. Give him this. I decided to obey. Fearfully I approached the man who was now also exiting his vehicle. I wanted to just run the other way, but I spoke with no confidence saying, “I don’t usually do this, but I feel like you are supposed to have this.” He was gracious and thanked me and I quickly exited with us both smiling.
I only claim it a victory, because I faced fear and decided that Jesus and I would win and not the fear. I didn’t bring him to Christ. That is not what God called me to do in that moment. He told me to engage. I did. 🙂
As I entered church, I felt that sense of victory oozing throughout me. Then unbeknownst to me the message of the day was all about evangelism. It was compelling us to share our story, our love, with those around us. “My Priority.”
“Found people, Find people.”
As we walked through the tale of lepers who shared a blessing they encountered I felt affirmed in my encounter with the stranger that morning. I was slotted to give an encouraging few words on giving at the end of the message, but scrapped my prepared thoughts in exchanges for those re-enforcing the value in people and that being the motivation for our gifts and the drive behind our ministry.
The church service came to a close and I began prepping the podcast in the tech booth when a man tapped me on the shoulder. No it wasn’t the man from that morning. That would be really cool though, huh? Actually it was COOLER.
The man said, “Do you remember me?”
“You look familiar.”
“I’m the guy who helped you change your tire a few weeks ago.”
I was shocked!!! A month before this, a neighbor I’d never met before answered my prayer by assisting me in a difficult tire change, where my lug nuts had rusted. I was a sweaty mess. He and his son came to my rescue moments after my prayer for strength. We talked about our histories for a bit and I brought up the church that I was attending and loving. I gave him an invite card and we continued talking.
Who would have thought that they guy came the past three Sundays in a row and I had just never run into him? Seeing me speak from the stage, allowed us to connect. He, now on his third visit, brought with him about 9-10 of his family members. AMAZING! My broken moment of sweat filled distress became an opportunity for life change for an entire family.
God showed me in the span of 3 hours:
1. The joy of fear filled obedience
2. The importance of sharing our blessings from a biblical standpoint
3. The fruit from sharing Christ and His bride, the Church.
This was a game changing experience that I hope I never forget. I will need this memory the next time God calls me to action where fear keeps me still. You and I must rise up on the wings of faith and trust, knowing that God wants to not only invite others you speak with to a life changing relationship, but he wants to change YOU in the process.
I hope that this encourages you that there is significance in your story.There is significance in your pain-filled moments. Rather than the anguish of struggling through a tire change alone, I experienced the connection of new friends and a helping hand. There is significance in your momentary obedience. You might not see the fruit today, but God uses all of our faith. There is NO wasted faith. There is significance in you! You matter. YOU MATTER!