Today’s post is a guest piece by Katie Edwards (name changed) about developing a discipline of evangelism. It is a wonderful, real story about the journey she and her husband took to follow the Lord in obedience to the Great Commission. It is a journey that everyone can take. Read it, be encouraged, and be challenged as well.
My husband and I have only been married for about eight months. About two months into our wedded bliss, we decided that it was time for us to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and not only pursue and serve God as individuals but to do it as a couple. We were not quite sure how things would pan out, but we set up our schedule so that every Saturday we would allot 2-3 hours to going out together with the purpose of sharing the gospel with those who do not know Jesus.
It started out a little bit awkward to say the least. At young ages we both had life-altering experiences with Christ that led us each to a point of saying, “God. You have so radically forgiven me and changed my life that now there is a fire burning inside of me to go out and tell others the good news: Wherever that may be, I will go!” However, when this calling played out with God telling us here in America that it was time to get started, we found ourselves a little bit less bold and a whole lot less prepared.
A Rocky Start
Despite a rocky start that consisted of us walking into international markets around the area and fumbling through the Roman Road and the good news of Jesus, sometimes feeling like the person we had just talked to seemed more confused after the conversation than before it, we were surprised to find that the Holy Spirit was somehow connecting to the hearts of people whether our presentation was on an A+ scale or a barely-passing C.
As each week passed, we noticed our abilities to communicate the truth of who God is and what His Son did for mankind only grew clearer and clearer. Yes, it still felt awkward at times, but we had crafted the ability to talk to people and have it more naturally lead to gospel discussions.
Pray for a Few, Look for Many
One morning on the way to work, I found myself pleading with God to give me opportunities to share His truth. I asked him to make it natural and genuine, to make it a lifestyle of sharing and not just a planned 2 hours of going out a week. I asked Him to make sharing truth as natural as breathing. As I talked to my Father, the verse in Matthew 23:23 came to mind, “‘His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” I began praying that God would strengthen my husband and me to be faithful with a few people to pour into and from that might He bless us with many people to love, disciple, and share with.
After I prayed this prayer the first time, God answered almost immediately. Each time that I have shared since then, it has been different…it has become natural. The amazing thing is that God did a similar work in my husband’s life at the same time. He began praying a similar prayer as mine. Soon we found ourselves together praying for a lifestyle change. We did not want our lives to pass us by without us even realizing it and feeling like we had missed out on opportunities to spend our days and energy for a purpose far greater than anything we could have ever come up with.
After six months of going out, God has faithfully provided people who regularly meet with us; people who are hungry to learn more about this life-giving Jesus. He has given us friends from Egypt, Afghanistan, Morocco, Tibet and other places as well. Even a few days ago, I found myself hugging and comforting a crying woman from the Caribbean at the Wal-Mart deli, something that I was not bold enough to do even a few short months ago.
Expect a Change of Heart
We reflect on these months and see how things have changed. I do not think my husband and I would either say that we have mastered sharing God’s truth. We still fumble through the message sometimes and even still miss some opportunities, but it’s incredible what being obedient to God did in our own hearts. As we shared the gospel, the gospel transformed our lives as well. We’ve been reminded of how sinful we are, but how righteous and holy our God is. We’ve reflected on the fact that no matter how much we try to earn forgiveness, it cannot be done. And yet God is so loving and grace-filled, that He has provided a way through the brutal death and then victorious resurrection of Jesus, that through repentance and belief in Him, we might be made NEW. We are forgiven, redeemed, and His.
I think the biggest lesson we learned through all of this is that being obedient to God is at times uncomfortable and difficult. And though it is hard and requires doing things we do not always want to, it is so worth it. HE is so worth it.
When we step out in faith, He grows our love for Him. He blesses us as we seek Him, and He makes HIS glory known.