By: Sade Nicholson
As you know, we now live in the day of the “modern church”. The church that no longer has real all night shut-ins and Friday night prayer. The church where worship has been boiled down to merely a slow song and acts of praise consist of a group of people acting like they‘re jumping rope. Yeah, I’ve seen it. Where it’s ok for the Pastor to come in after praise and worship and gospel songs should just be called “feel good music”. Where the mothers of the church have no voice and love is only shown to people we know.
See, to modernize, means to give a new appearance to. And with the things I’ve named, among others, the “new face” of the church looks frail, fake and lacking in power. The power that I’m referring to is the proactive, energizing backing of the Holy Spirit that when received gives us the desire to not only be more like Christ, but to bring other people to the knowledge of Christ. Jesus says in Acts 1:8 : “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 Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
It saddens me to see and hear Christians, said to love the Lord and are full of the Holy Spirit that don’t witness. Now I can hear someone arguing the point now, he said will BE a witness. And you’re absolutely right! The word “be”, means to exist or live as. The word witness means to see hear, or know by personal perception. So in essence, “to be a witness” means to exist and live as one who has seen, heard and personally encountered Jesus! This person can’t be stopped, silenced nor hindered by fear when it comes to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Remember the man that was deaf and had trouble speaking in Mark chapter 7? The Bible says in verses 34- 36 that Jesus opened his ears and loosed his tongue and ordered him not to tell anyone. But in verses 36b and 37 it says: “..but the more He (Jesus) commanded them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were overwhelmingly astonished, saying He has done everything excellently! He even makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak!”
Because of this one encounter with Jesus these group of people were immediately witnesses for the Lord! And check this out, it was without the filling of the Holy Spirit! So how much more should we Spirit filled, tongue talking believers be, in spreading the good news? Why do we have power for nothing? It’s not that the power is useless, we’ve become useless.
There was a time where the saints would not just talk about taking a city, but would literally break up into groups on a Saturday and walk the streets of the city witnessing, one neighborhood at a time, armed with the Word of God in their hearts, the Kingdom of God on their minds, a prayer in their spirit and tracks in their hands. I remember those days, when we endeavored to be set apart and didn’t mind being rejected. A time when our hearts ached for the sinner, when hell was a real place and when being about the Father’s business was a priority, instead of an option. Where are the innately charismatic “once deaf men” and “restored women of the well“? When did the great commission in Matthew 28 become the great modification? I’ll tell you, when we were deceived to believe that this power was merely for self-elevation and the scripturally justified, gain of wealth.
But never fail to realize that both, God’s power and wealth that He gives us, is all for His glory and expansion of the His Kingdom! I don’t say these things to be cruel but to refocus the heart and mind of the believer back to God’s agenda. So if you struggle with fear, timidity and anxiety when it comes to witnessing, I pray that you have an encounter with the Lord again! I also pray that you ask God to fill you again with His Holy Spirit. It is sure to give you the ability, efficiency, and boldness to witness for Him! So, let’s rekindle this timeless lifestyle of witnessing and watch God work in our homes, on our jobs, in our schools, in our city and in our nation!
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