So I had an encounter yesterday with someone who worked at a store. I saw a verse on the wall and they were playing Christian music. As I was checking out, I commented how great it was to hear the music. And then... that was it. I didn’t say or ask anything else. While driving, I was pondering of why I didn’t. I'm not a natural talker and such a terrible evangelist and that area always frustrates me to no end. I feel so much condemnation for not doing and being more or better at it. But then a different fear came up as I was driving, “but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matt 10:33
I thought if I’m such a chicken to speak to strangers who might be Christians, how will I ever endure these last days and persecution? I fear I will deny the Lord and be denied by Him. All this fear came on so suddenly and didn’t know why, which led me to pray, “Lord, if there is any shame in my heart of you, please forgive me and help me repent. If there is any fear of people, Holy Spirit give me courage like you did for the Apostles. And if it is I just don’t know how to talk to people about you, please teach and instruct me what to do.”
After praying, the Lord revealed and comforted me with this truth that it is about love. When I am so fully and desperately in love with my Jesus, there never will be any fear of being ashamed of him or of denying Him. When we are in love, all we want to do is show off the one we love and are never ashamed of them. And I will love what He loves, people in this world.
What about fear? “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 This is not talking about how much love I have for God, but knowing and fully grasping His perfect love towards me. Such safety and security that brings to our hearts and what the Holy Spirit brings to remembrance to give us courage. We have confidence that no matter what or who we face – that we are deeply loved and accepted despite every failing and weakness we see in ourselves.
And lastly our key verse is knowledge. “But the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” This was the verse the Lord gave me today in my devotional by Charles Spurgeon. He wrote, “Knowledge strengthens love as well as faith. Knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus and when we see that portrait, then we love Him.” This scripture was in context of the how others would depart from God in the last days, but how believers would stay strong.
God answered my specific fears with His word, and not with condemnation and disapproval, but with instruction and His perfect timing. He didn’t let my faith fester and weaken for days, but answered the very next day after praying for help, He spoke and revealed His love for me with truth. Tears stream down my face even as I write this, because He’s so good and how much I am tangibly experiencing His love for me in this moment, which in return just erupts in spontaneous love for Him, the very thing I need for victory.
‘…You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand… For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:9-10,13
In my own flesh, there is no strength to endure, to speak to others, to do all the things the Lord would have me do. Satan wanted me to be overwhelmed at my own weaknesses and failings, but God wanted me not to trust in my flesh, but to cry out to the God who rescues. He will be the one whose Spirit gives me words to speak. He will be the one to give grace when I face persecution. He will teach me in the way I should go. Jesus is the one praying that my faith will not fail in all my trials and for the Father to send His timely word to me. He promises that His grace will be sufficient for me. But it is only when I acknowledge that weakness and inadequacy that He graciously steps in and does more than I ask. Lastly as if the Lord did not do enough, my Pastor preached this word today of instruction for evangelizing. "Simply listen for that key word that reminds you of a Scripture and share it with people." The Lord has me do that all the time with believers and yet with unbelievers I don’t know what to do. Here again is God’s grace and mercy. I asked for instruction and He answered so specifically.
And this is what I pray for you, that wherever your area of doubt, weakness or sense of condemnation would be taken to the Lord in prayer. Take it to Him with all it’s ugliness and shame asking Him to help. He delights in answering and His word will give strength and healing to your soul. Let Him woo you with His kindness so that you may continue to fall deeply in love with Jesus
When you know your God, you will be strong and take action. That's what the Lord promises. All the things you wish you could do by faith will come. Know your God; learn of Him through His word, read it afresh. Meditate on a truth He speaks to your heart. Discover another facet of His character of what He’s done and what He’s already given and promised as you go through His word and His promises. You will know the Lord as you know His word. As the Word of God pours into your heart, now it will freely overflow out of you into another. You will pass on the goodness of the Lord for another to taste. My area of defeat, God has just transformed into a way to bless others through a simple devotional you are reading now. Imagine what He will do in your life this week!
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."