Tuesday, September 9, 2008

To Boldly Go.....

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."


Susan said...

o.k. thanks for making me cry. No I am just kiddding. I understand so well what you are saying. We need to be bold and listen when God tells us but it really is hard sometimes. We let our flesh rule us and that is because we are selfish and don't want to offend or be rejected. I will be praying for your friend and also for myself to be bold in the Lord.

Man I really miss you lady.

I think your right I believe that God has blessed Marc and I with a son.

Tanya said...

Well, I think that through our day God does lead us to divine appointments. But, I have also been like your friend and I know I was prompted by God to do something and yet I did not. I am not good at telling people about God either. I will pray for your friend and all of us to be bold and listen to God. Talk to ya later, love Tanya

Carol - CDCversion said...

Thank you for sharing your friend's story. I hope that prompts the rest of us to be sensitive to the leadership of the Spirit, and act on those promptings. When we do, there is such a blessing in store for us. But satan does use fear and intimidation to keep us quiet. My heart goes out to your friend who is now dealing with the regret of not following through on God's prompting. Maybe God used someone else to reach the lady who died. We never know the whole story. I wish I could be more like Jesus, to whom nothing mattered but to do His Father's will.

Indian Lake Papa said...

When you listen - you listen to the voice of Christ as well the one you are sitting next to. most important - like my latest post - be an example!

Nana C said...

Heather, you know in yas our heart that God gave you strength being there for your friend, stay in that calmness for her and you. Yes, I have probably missed many times when I should have, knowing I was prompted by the Spirit to witness, I do not radiate in the simple way our Saviour Jesus did, he still is the best! I do have a couple of Christian friends that I need to speak to, as in a loving way to apologize for my behavior and my judgement of their behavior, which is not my place, only after praying, we feel that fear tugging, as we pray we can ask God to hold our hand and move forward. Thank you for the post, it was heartfelt. Miss you Nana C

Roxanne Kristina said...

Oh my goodness, sort of have been pondering on this myself. Just wrote a post about being...

So heart felt.

Thank you.


Lori... said...

What a great post! A good one to come back to! Thanks for the nugget!

Love ya!