As believers, we are to be bold in sharing our faith. Not my strong suit. I struggle with just laying the Gospel out to non believers. I worry about offending them. I worry that I will turn them
away from God instead of towards Him. There is a delicate balance in presenting the Gospel in love and grace and cramming the Gospel down someone's throat. It's a balance that I haven't quite mastered.
For the most part, I think that's OK. I believe God has created us all differently. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi:
"Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words"
That's me, I think. I am more focused on building relationships and allowing Christ to shine through my words and actions. I also pray for God to give me moments to share what He has done in my life. Sometimes those doors open and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they open and I choose to be silent anyway. I believe that's called disobedience.
I have a friend who is struggling with that right now. I won't give her name because I didn't ask permission to share this. However, it has been heavy on my heart since speaking with her yesterday. My friend and her husband had built a relationship with their neighbors who are also their landlords. They are also non believers. The neighbor lady has had cancer and she passed away Monday morning. I spoke with my friend yesterday to give her my condolences and she began to share with me.
My girlfriend had felt God prompting her, especially in the past couple of weeks, to go share the Gospel with her neighbor. He had shown her through scripture and devotions that now was the time. This past Saturday God had even told her that the time for her neighbor to pass was near, but she was too afraid to go. She didn't want to offend this woman who started as a landlord and had become her friend. She was disobedient to the Lord and now her chance had passed. She does not know if her landlord, her neighbor, her friend is with our Lord and she was feeling partly responsible. I could sense the deep sadness as we spoke and I so badly wanted to wrap my arms around her. I wanted to say something to make her feel better, but the truth is she was being disciplined. She had been disobedient and now she was having to live with the consequences. I could only listen and offer her understanding.
I have been there. I know that, on many occasions, I have failed to do what God has asked me to do. Mostly out of fear. How awful is it that I fear man and the opinion of man far more than I fear God Himself? I don't like that part of me. I suspect God doesn't either.
I was reading Acts chapter 4 the other night. The Sanhedrin had forbid Peter and John to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. Peter and John would have none of it! They told the Sandhedrin that they would rather disobey them than God. That is my hearts desire. I desire to throw caution to the wind and speak boldly about Jesus. My prayer for me, my children, and all of us who are believers is the same as the apostles in Acts 4:29-30:
"Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."