One of the things I wrestle with a lot is knowing when to talk about God and when not to. It might be in a casual conversation with a person who is dead to spiritual things or it might be with a new believer. The situation always presents itself the same. I think, "Here's what this person needs to hear about God right now..." and then I spend the next few seconds second-guessing whether or not I should speak it. By the time I decide, the moment has passed and I no longer have anything to worry about.
Have you ever been there? If you are having any deep conversations with anybody, you've probably had this same experience. How do we know when to speak? What if we've got it all wrong? What if we don't understand God well enough to know what we should say about him in a circumstance like I am describing? Sound familiar?
In today's culture, there is no absolute truth, and as Christians, it is pervasive in our thinking about whether or not we should speak as though we know the truth or not. Most of the time we don't. We settle for "letting our light shine" whatever that means, and we keep our mouths shut.
Did you know God actually says we have the order of things backwards? We teach new Christ-followers, and we believe ourselves, that to witness, we must first know who God is. We must have complete faith, and we must understand at least who he is for the subject we want to discuss with someone else. The problem is, this leads to paralysis where nobody is saying anything because we aren't quite sure if we have it all figured out or not. We think it is probably better to leave those conversations to the professionals with Bible School training and letters after their names.
But, there is this verse in Isaiah 43:10 that says we have it backwards. “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he."
Do you see that there? We are His witnesses. He has already chosen us to speak out about who he is. The result? When we speak out, we get the added benefit of knowing, and believing, and understanding that He is truly LORD. He is the I AM.
Psychologists have shown how we are more likely to believe something when we declare it out loud.
We were created for the purpose of speaking the truth about who God is.
Isn't that a crazy thought? We are wired to speak first as a witness and that action is what leads us to a head knowledge, a heart belief, and a lifestyle of understanding who God is.
It doesn't take a PHD to tell your story. In fact, having been at a lot of crash scenes, I will tell you the witness who wants to tell someone else's story is no witness at all. They should move on. Tell your story! If you are alive in Christ, you are a witness. You actually have a capability that God has chosen not to directly possess himself: God has chosen you to be his witness. If God were to show up and tell your story and what it should mean to your neighbor, they would comply for all the wrong reasons. But, as another free-will being, your story allows other free-will beings to make a decision based on your testimony to who God is. And, when they decide, God still receives the glory!
What an incredible plan to reach a broken and dark world.
God has put his plan in our hearts. He has placed the words on our lips. The next time you think you should speak a truth from your story to someone. Do it! Not only will they have a different perspective, but your faith will be built as a result.
Imagine the fruit we would see in Cascade if every believer began sharing their stories of how God is actively working this week in their lives. Maybe its a character development. Maybe it is a deepening of your faith. Maybe he is showing up in miraculous ways. Maybe he doesn't seem present at all. Share it all. It's your story that he has planned to use to make you an ambassador for Him. Faith without works is dead so open your mouth!