Our journey in life as a believer in Jesus Christ often ebbs and flows or follows a path similar to a rollercoaster. We experience times of enthusiasm and passion in serving the Lord as if we are on the top of the coaster. We also go through times where life is overwhelming, we lack motivation, and we become complacent or lazy in our service to the Lord. I'm afraid the passion we should have for sharing the gospel message in our day to day life is not always at the forefront of our minds.
Just a few weeks ago, I was flying home from a work-related trip. It was late on a Sunday night. I was exhausted from the trip. I put my earbuds in and leaned my head back, closed my eyes, and had no desire to talk to anyone. Later, the flight attendant asked for my drink and snack order, so I pulled my earbuds out. Immediately, the lady sitting next to me began to engage me in conversation. The whole time in my head, I was trying to figure out how to exit the conversation and go back to rest mode. She began to open up about her overwhelming and stressful life to me, a stranger. I will be honest, I did not initially feel like talking to this woman, but the Lord quickly corrected me. It was as if He was saying, "This flight isn't about your comfort and desire for rest. See this broken one? Please be Jesus to her." What an opportunity I would have missed to encourage her and share the hope of Jesus if I had not sacrificed my selfish desires that day.
Many of us have become robots in our daily lives. We have filled our schedules in such a way that we robotically move throughout our day, checking off one commitment after the other. We often do not leave room in our lives to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when it concerns our Christian witness to others. I’m challenged by the words of Paul in Colossians 4:2-6 (NKJV)
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
Paul is in prison when these words are written. Let’s walk through the guidance he gives us in this passage. First, it is of great importance that we approach our Christian witness with prayer. I love that Paul not only encourages believers to pray and be consistent with giving thanks to God, but he also asks for prayer himself. Paul, who is in prison, still desires for open doors to speak of Christ. He does not let his chains stop his desire for opportunities to share Christ with others. Paul's example should be a gut check for us. If Paul, while he was in prison, still had the heart to share the gospel, perhaps we should check our priorities as it concerns our commitment to seeking ways to share Jesus with others. May we vow to be more intentional about praying for opportunities to share Christ with others.
After embracing a life of prayer concerning our witness, we must then "walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time," as it states in the above passage. Do you wake up every morning with a desire to reach out to those you don't know? Do you daily ask for and seek out moments to connect with others so that you can share the hope of Jesus? As we pray for open doors to witness to others, we are wise to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Time is of the essence. We, as Christians, should not move through our lives robotically. We must not neglect the ownership we should take in the call of witnessing to the world and making disciples.
Our lives, our speech, our conduct: they must all reflect the image of Jesus. While we actively pursue moments to witness Jesus, we also share His Light through the way we live our very lives. We never know the impact we may be having on the lost just by the way we live our lives. Perhaps on the plane that day, despite my heart being closed off initially, the woman next to me saw Light, and the Lord used that Light to open a door I wasn't even seeking.
Jesus is the One who saves. The Holy Spirit does the transforming work in peoples lives. We, as believers in Jesus, are privileged to get to take part in the story of salvation on the earth. We get to be vessels that the Lord uses to help spread the gospel in all the land. May we evaluate our own lives today. Are we intentional with the way we live our lives every day, allowing the witness of Jesus to flow out of us? Do we make time to be inconvenienced in our schedule when opportunities arise to share Jesus with others?
May we commit today to a life of prayer concerning our witness for Christ. May we wake up daily with a zeal to share His love with others. May this life of witness flow out of a heart of love for the Father instead of duty. May we embrace every opportunity that comes our way to spread the gospel message. May we redeem the time and be successful in our witness.