Thursday July 4, 2019
It’s not up to me! Those are liberating words when it comes to seeing results from witnessing. For a long time, I thought I needed to measure my effectiveness as a witness by the results. If no one was repenting and coming to Christ, then there had to be something wrong with my method or my message, or so I thought. Then I was reminded of this simple truth – I am not the Holy Spirit, and He alone is in charge of conviction and conversion. I am simply the vessel through which the gospel of Christ flows in word and deed. I am only responsible for making sure the vessel is full and overflowing to others. The vessel is not filled with itself but with God.
Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
It is good for us to critique our methods of witnessing and to sharpen our communication skills, but none of that can compensate for the ineffectiveness caused by a loss of intimacy with Jesus Christ. If the vessel of my life is primarily filled with methods, techniques, and strategies then I will be constantly looking for improved methods, techniques, and strategies. My focus will be on improved methods for increased productivity, rather than the Person of Jesus Christ. There is no power in process. There is power in the Presence of the Holy Spirit.
When we maintain an emphasis on personal spiritual health we become the fertile soil in which God can cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations of the earth. You and I are to be living and growing testimonies to the power of the gospel. That will happen when we are determined to be filled with the Presence of God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so that the life of Christ is confirmed in ours.
When that happens, witnessing becomes an expression of God’s activity in our lives rather than a technique to tell others what God should be doing in their lives. What a refreshing approach to evangelism – stop telling people what’s wrong with them and start telling them what’s right with God. Let the world see God’s righteousness in how we live, and let them hear God’s praise in how we talk. Then, release the responsibility for conviction and conversion to the Holy Spirit.
Try it! Instead of trying so hard to witness and “win” someone to Christ, include statements of praise to God in your conversations with people and let the Holy Spirit “win” them over. When we empty our ourselves of our methods and our determination to be a success there will be more room for the Presence of God, which is what people really need to see.