Updated: Oct 12, 2020
For as long as I have known His voice, I have heard His call: “Go, and make disciples...” It is one of the most well-known commands from the Lord; in fact, it was His final command before ascending to His Father. The Great Commission. We read these words with deep anticipation and hope, yet so often we struggle to place our feet on this mysterious, yet majestic road. What does it mean? More importantly, how is it done?
I remember having a next door neighbor when I was young whom I knew did not know Jesus. I had just gotten saved myself, and if there was one thing I was sure of, it was that EVERYONE around me needed to know Jesus as well. As I think back, I smile at the fervor, but cringe at the remembrance of finding her every afternoon and asking her 10000 times over if she would “ask Jesus into her heart.” Exasperated, she finally said yes.
I wonder how my over-zealousness affected her view of Christianity. I wonder if my words ever meant more to her than clanging symbols to which she eventually yelled, ‘Enough!’
I take heart in knowing the Lord of all creation (& the Ultimate Evangelist) searches the hearts of man, and is greater than our floundering at proclaiming His name. I do not know which waned first: my longing, my zeal, or my courage. Perhaps it was a mixture of all three. I was keenly aware of the call to share; I was more aware of my seeming inability to do it. I loved knowing Jesus, but sharing Him I did not understand how to do.
I remember sitting before different street evangelists coming to speak at our church; joining them on market square with a tract in my hand. How do I approach a perfect stranger and ask the most crucial question in the Universe? I was frozen. I can’t do this.
And such was my view on evangelism in the years to follow. Did I not love Jesus enough? Did I not love people enough?
I binge-watched open air preachers and longed for their courage. I studied apologists and longed for the day I could have such a conversation.
As the years continued the Lord graciously taught me His heart toward evangelism, and His willingness to use a yielded vessel. He taught me that the circumstances of evangelism do not determine its effectiveness. It is the willingness of the vessel brings about the circumstance, and the dependence of the vessel brings about its effectiveness.
2 Chronicles 16:9 reads:
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of him whose heart is loyal to Him.”
It is the Lord’s mission, He is looking for those who are simply willing to join Him. Before we can effectively reach a dying world, however, our hearts must be loyal to Him. Not as man-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ we must go on.
Before we can pour out to a thirsty world, we must first be filled with living water. John 3:37-38 says:
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
When we have the correct understanding of who Jesus is—believing in Him as
the Scripture has said—the natural result is not a forced squeeze but a free flow of living water that comes out of our hearts.
You do not need the mind of a theologist, the mouth of an apologist, or the experience of a preacher to do the work of an evangelist. One thing is needed: sitting at the feet of the One who is able to be with your mouth, and teach you what you should say. Remember that this is the Lord’s mission; you are merely His ambassador. He will bring you to the soil as you faithfully carry your seed.
And that is all you need.