Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fear

Why do I fear men?
There are 89 verses in the Bible about fearing God...
yet I choose to fear men.
Can man say any of this?

Job 38
4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?

8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt'?

12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,

16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death [b] ?

18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

Can any man know all this? of course not! So why do I cower before a "mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes?" (James 4:14) Why do I freeze up at the thought of meeting new students? Why does the idea of sharing Christ with a stranger feel a little like walking down a dark alley? Why is my fear of man greater then my fear of God?

Fear of man, lack of fear for God. I've been struck by these thoughts this last week. I am commanded to proclaim His good news to everyone possible. Not only that, but it should be EASY to speak up for Him because of his greatness and even all the amazing thing's he's graciously done in my own life. Now, It is pretty easy for me to shepherd the hearts of women, to train them, guide them, even do all I can to help them grow. However, it's so difficult for me to evangelize to them on campus. How can that be?

Where's the synagogue? Where's a place of meeting? Isn't that where you could find Paul preaching? Isn't that where Jesus taught more often then not? Yet there are no bright lit up signs saying "Share the gospel here." But you'rw probably thinking "what does it matter where?" right? All I have to do is find one stranger, engage them in conversation and share the good news with them. Why is it so hard? I mean that's something Paul did on his DOWN time (acts 16:13) "On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there." Paul went to find a place to relax and pray. Instead he ended up sharing the gospel with this group of ladies where Lydia converted and became a faithful follower of Christ. All on his "down" time. *sigh*

This is the first job I've had where I can't evangelize to my co-workes, because they are already saved. It's kinda weird when I step back and think about it. So who do I go after then? neighbors? Just met them 2 months ago. Friends? haven't made too many of those yet. Peers? I don't know if I'd call students my peers. So who? strangers! That's all I have. One small step into conversation and magically they are no longer strangers. Yet it's so difficult for me to get over this bump.

So here I am, in a new land, with new people, and in many ways a new culture. I am a full-time missionary. (Weird. Hard.) There are no natural day-in-day out relationships that I can be praying about evangelistic opportunities for. Nope. Either I go up to a person, meet them, then share Christ, or nothing at all. It's such a weird dynamic.

So as you can tell, this week has really been a good challenge to me in regard to sharing the gospel. So often it's easy on collegiate Nav staff to focus on the disciplining and bible studies rather then the evangelism and planting of seeds. We are going through Phillipians in our large group times and it has been especially convicting for me to hear the words of Paul, "What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel." He's in prison, yet he's still proclaiming Christ to even his prison guards. How am I serving to advance the gospel? What am I doing on a daily basis to proclaim His name?

Pray for me as I draw supernatural courage from the Holy Spirit. My goal is to meet at least one new girl a day this week. By next post I should have 7 new names I can pray over (I already have one and I just started today). And then next week, who knows, maybe I'll up the anti to 2 girls or maybe 5? All I know is that I have to take some step of faith no matter how small. Because if I don't, I'm just giving into fear of man.

Who are you fearing today, man...or God?

2 comments:

J-Ra said...

Sharing the gospel is really scary, and I don't know why either. But Bret showed me a few verses a couple weeks ago that really made it a lot easier.

1 Corinthians 2:3-5 says, "And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." I was really encouraged by verse 3 because Paul, the guy who brought Jesus to all parts of the known world at that time, said that even he came to the Corinthians "in fear and much trembling." I don't know why, but it's comforting to know that you're not the only one who struggles with fear.

I'll be praying for you guys.

Ayeser said...

:-)