I must now confess that I find it easy to talk about God and the blessings he has showered on my life when I’m talking with a likeminded audience, and find it difficult when I fear I will be waved off or outright rejected by someone I count among my friends. It is a fear I know I must overcome for what good am I accomplishing trying earnestly to live the Word if the only people I share my faith with are also faithful?
I’m reminded now of the story of the shephard leaving his flock to go find the one lost sheep. I’m ashamed; I turned a blind eye to a lost one and left him in the wilderness.
And as I sat down with the Daily Devotional Bible to write today’s post two passages in Psalms greeted me: “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth” (26:2-3), and “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” (27:10).
These passages told me three very important things: It only took me 22 days to have my first failure at what was really a very simple test, there will indeed be more tests, and in order to walk continually in the truth I must be prepared and willing to lose so much more than the company of an old friend.
But also as I sit here writing this I realize I can overcome my failure by refusing the next time to shy aware from sharing my faith with non-believers (including this particular friend), and, I further realize, perhaps losing a friend because of my beliefs will not be the result after all. Why would I think that, me of little faith? I’ve been praying to God to use me, to let me be a tool in His work. Why did I doubt his power? Would he not use me to help find lost sheep? Isn’t that what I’ve invited Him into my life to do? Do I not trust Him?
Of course I trust Him, and of course I believe in His power. Yet I chose to dishonor Him by remaining silent about Him.
I could use a swift kick in the butt.
I also read this in the introduction to Judges in my Bible for Blockheads: “Our success or failure depends on our willingness to faithfully follow the Lord (pg. 84).” I notice it doesn’t say to follow the Lord when it is easy to do so – it says we must follow faithfully to succeed. That can only mean to follow Him all of the time, in easy times as well as in difficult times.
I fear God may not use me if I continue to fail at the very task I asked Him to place before me; therefore, I resolve, I won’t fail at it again. I will not turn away from living in a God pleasing way; I will not pass up the next opportunity to talk with someone, anyone, about God, His love, His mercy, His grace, and His wonderful blessings.
My friends, even though I have already asked you many times to pray for me, I am now asking you yet again. Please pray that I might gain strength and confidence and overcome my fear of talking to someone who doesn’t already know God. Please pray that I pass my next test.