A photo of a young bird in the Florida Everglades
Boldness To Witness
Fear often freezes people when it comes time for
someone to witness to others about Christ. People ask me about how
they can have a boldness to witness. It would be quite easy to point to
a verse or so, but I know that the boldness to witness involves more that
a couple of verses.
1. We must understand that we are SENT by God to witness.
Witnessing is much more that just a ingenious idea. Every
Believer has been sent by God to witness. It was true in the Old Testament
and the New Testament. "And that thou
mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I
have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that
ye may know how that I am the LORD" (Exodus 10:2). David
was sent by God to kill Goliath that the world may know God. "This
day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and
take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of
the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts
of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel"
(I Samuel 17:46). Jesus sent out not only the twelve, but the seventy.
"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy
also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place,
whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest
truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of
the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest"
(Luke 10:1-2). Jesus said, "Then saith he to
his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not
worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find,
bid to the marriage" (Matthew 22:8-9).
2. We must have a VISION to witness.
Jesus said, "Say not ye, There are yet
four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your
eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest"
(John 4:35). We need to take our eyes off ourselves and see a world
in need. There was a blind man that needed a second touch.
"And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him
out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon
him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men
as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and
made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly"
Mark 8:23-25). With the first touch he saw men as trees or something
to be used by men. He needed a second touch to see men as they are, men
3. We must understand that we are UNDER AUTHORITY when we witness.
You may be speeding down the highway and get pulled over by
the State Highway Patrol. Now you might be a man, six feet tall,
and weight over two hundred pounds and the patrolman may be a woman of
only five feet and two inches, but she has the authority of the state behind
her. She most likely will have the power of a firearm on her hip
and a radio also to call for back up. A similar picture is true in the
spiritual realm. "And Jesus came and spake
unto them, saying, All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and
in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I
am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew
28:18-20). When we are sent out to witness by Jesus, we have the
authority of the Kingdom of God behind us.
4. We must have the POWER to witness.
We can not effectively witness in our power. Intellect,
knowledge, and whit is not enough. We must have the power of the
Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto
me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost
part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). I must clarify that this
is not the rebirth where we receive an earnest of the Spirit. Jesus said
that we need the POWER (the baptism or filling) of the Holy Spirit in order
to effectively witness. Paul also said, "For our
gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy
Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among
you for your sake" (I Thessalonians 1:5). SEE: "How
To Receive The Holy Spirit"
5. We need to hear GOD'S VOICE when we witness.
We should always be witness minded, looking for opportunities
to witness. However, in looking we should also be praying and asking
God when and how to witness. Jesus said, "My
sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me"
(John 10:27). We need to be Spirit directed in our witnessing. What
we think might be an opportunity may not work out well, but also what we
think may not be an opportunity may be the best opportunity. Paul
attempted to go up into a certain area several times, but the Holy Spirit
forbid him until one night when he had a vision. "And
a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia,
and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us"
(Acts 16:9). Also when we hear God's voice, He will also enable us
6. We must understand that the WORD is effective in witnessing.
Many people wonder how they are going to convince someone to
receive Christ and become fearful. After all, many people today believe
that the Bible is just a fable. We must understand that there is
a power in the Word itself. God said, "So shall
my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me
void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper
in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11). Paul wrote,
"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by
wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to
save them that believe" (I Corinthians 1:21). Indeed,
we are not to depend upon our wisdom to save others, but are to depend
upon the Word to save others. Paul even rejoice when the Gospel was
preached by ungodly ministers. "Some indeed
preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The
one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction
to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the
defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in
pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea,
and will rejoice" (Philippians 1:15-18). See: "What
Does The Bible Say?"
7. We should have the DEMONSTRATION of the Holy Spirit to confirm
When the Word is preached, God intervenes and confirms His
Word. "And they went forth, and preached every
where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.
Amen" (Mark 16:20). The early church prayed for boldness,
"And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant
unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may
be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed,
the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were
all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness"
(Acts 4:29-31). Paul said, "And my speech and
my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration
of the Spirit and of power" (I Corinthians 2:4). It
is amazing when we dare witness using the Word, that the Holy Spirit shows
up with some miracle to confirm the Word.
8. We need to understand that the Gospel should be wrapped in LOVE.
God initiated the love. "For God
so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
(John 3:16). Jesus said that others would know that we are his disciples
by our love. "By this shall all men know that
ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John
13:35). James addressed the issue by saying, "If
a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you
say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding
ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth
it profit?" (James 2:15-16). Paul say that love opens the
door for faith to work. "For in Jesus Christ
neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith
which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6).
9. We should understand the God will use VARIOUS
VEHICLES of communication to carry the Gospel.
I believe that God gives us witty inventions to carry the message
to others. The Word of God says, "I wisdom
dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions"
(Proverbs 8:12). I often use graphics and photos, but if you came
to my office you would discover that I have all kinds of props to communicate
the principles of God's Word. The prophets often dramatized the Word.
God told Ezekiel, "Thou also, son of man, take thee
a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem"
(Ezekiel 4:1). God even told Isaiah to walk naked on once occasion.
"At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son
of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put
off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot"
(Isaiah 20:2). Jesus often used word pictures and parables.
"Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow"
10. We must GO to witness.
Setting on the couch and watching TV is not going to
witness. Jesus said, "Go ye therefore, and
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). Jesus forbid
the man who was delivered from evil spirits to follow him. "Howbeit
Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and
tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion
on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things
Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel" (Mark 5:19-20).
Decapolis was a metropolitan area of ten cities. You can just imagine
how many people believed in Jesus because of what happen to that man.
Witnessing does necessarily mean that we are to knock on twenty door each
week or to visit ten bars to witness. We are simply to ask God and
be obedient to Him. It may be that we are to go to a friend at work
and share the Gospel.
11. We need to have a CLEAR CONSCIENCE to witness.
To have a clear conscience means that neither God or man can
truthfully point their fingers at you and say, "You have wronged me and
done nothing about it." Paul wrote, "And herein
do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward
God, and toward men" (Acts 24:16).
12. We must BE WHOLE to be free to witness.
Peter says that righteousness gives a good witness. "Dearly
beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly
lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest
among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers,
they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the
day of visitation" (I Peter 2:11-12). See: "Get
A Clear Conscience" David said, "Restore
unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then
will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto
thee" (Psalms 51:12-13). Once Isaiah was cleansed he
made himself available to witnesss. "Also I
heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go
for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me" (Isaiah 6:8).
Wounded people often have their guard up in fear of being hurt
again. Soloman wrote, "A brother offended is harder
to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of
a castle" (Proverbs 18:19). However, after Jesus ministered
to the woman at the well, she witnessed to all the men of the city. "The
woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith
to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did:
is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him"
(John 4:28-30). After God healed the lame man through Peter, he had
could not but witness. "And he leaping up stood,
and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping,
and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God"
(Acts 3:8-9). It is not uncommon that after people come to Whole
Person Counseling and receive healing from the Lord that they find a boldness
to share Christ with others. See: "Cleansing
And Healing For Ministers"
Let us pray for one another that we
all may have a boldness to witness. Paul said as a part of his discussion
on spiritual warfare: "Praying always with all prayer
and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be
given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery
of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein
I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:18-20).