Monday, July 16, 2012

Separation Anxiety

Stress and anxiety accompany any major changes in lifestyle. If we are to believe the statistics gathered on such things, we will find that changes like the death of a spouse, moving to a new location, starting a new job, having a baby, etc., are high up on the list for stressing out beyond the norm. Many of them are the result of some sort of separation or another.

How about getting saved, and all that comes after that experience?

Romans 1:1-7 (King James Version) - "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God."

Paul mentions being separated to the work of the gospel. There is a great anxiety attached to that, more for some than others.

Paul was called to be an apostle. That carries with it a heavy responsibility, and perhaps a certain amount of risk at times. Ask the people who are bringing the message of the gospel in China, India, the Philippines, and other persecuted areas in the world where the penalty is death or imprisonment.

Most of us will never know that threat. It does not mean that there isn't any anxiety.

I think the average believer struggles with feelings of inadequacy and fear of rejection. They already anticipate the worst scenario when thinking about sharing Jesus with others, which sometimes paralyzes them even though their heart is burning to share their faith in Christ.

The answer to this dilemma is as simple as one word. Faith.

As simple as that sounds I am not just merely oversimplifying the issue, but rather narrowing it all down to the least common denominator. Faith.

At the end of the day, no matter what you read, what course you take, where you go, or how you approach it, you are ultimately going to need to simply exercise, and rely upon, faith.

Now listen carefully. It's where you place that faith that determines your ability. Remembering that faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11),  rely upon that same Holy Spirit to give you words to speak at the precise moment you need them. He will give you the right words for the right moment (Luke 12:12).

This is the perfect plan of God. It is reasonable to expect and to assume, that since God has separated you to bring the message of the gospel to others, He will also equip you.

And that my friends is where the problem lies today. People have turned what God has ordered into a scheme. He doesn't need our help in developing people separated to the gospel, but rather believers who will actually believe that He will accomplish it through them.

It takes faith, trust, and obedience. You have to exercise your gift of faith that He wants you to do this, trust the clear call of Christ upon all believers (Matt. 28:18-20), and then simply obey. Just do it!  If He has ordained it to be then He will anoint you to accomplish it!

My strong suggestion is to pray for opportunity rather than to launch into aggressive street evangelism to strangers. There is another gifting to do battle in that arena. Do that only if you are called to it. However, for the normal day to day lifestyle of the average believer, God will set you up nicely to present the gospel if you show your desire to follow through. 

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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