We make it so unnecessarily difficult. We carry a burden which was never for us to carry and actually believe, with largely good intentions, that we are needed for things to advance. We mistaken our skills as abilities we have developed as opposed to gifts we have received and then are proud to offer these gifts to the Gift-giver as if we have something original to offer. It’s a cycle of narcissism fueled in pride that creates unnecessary disappointments and allows for unwarranted credit.
The Kingdom of God will advance in the timing and planning of God. He’s got this. The Kingdom doesn’t need a single one of us, yet the King chooses to include us. The purpose He provides us in the inclusion of His Kingdom is life-giving. It’s a pleasure to serve the King.
Sharing our faith is not a passion stoked of our own need, but a partnership dependent on His sovereignty. No matter how articulate or convincing we are, we’re not planting, nurturing or harvesting anything just because we run around telling everyone the Answer. The Hope we bring is brought in partnership with Him, not for Him but with Him.
Paul gives us some insight into the essence of evangelism as he writes in Colossians 4:3-4, “meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”
- “praying for us” – it all starts and ends with Him, by Him, for Him . . . it’s the prayer connection that is the source of any ministry we hope to have.
- “that God would open to us a door” – He’s the one that makes a way for others to know Him. He’s the initiator. We’re asking Him to initiate in a way that allows us to walk into the Heaven on earth encounter.
- “to speak the mystery of Christ” – think of the humility inherent in this statement. If Christ is a mystery (and He is), then our arrogance based in knowledge and piety ought to go right out the window. We think we know based on what He has revealed but we don’t have the mystery completely figured out any more than anyone else does. Humility is the posture for sharing a mystery.
- “for which I am in chains” – Paul is suffering because of his beliefs and purpose. He’s not exalted on some stage from which he’ll exit to the Green Room. He’s taken a beating and stays focused on the call of his heart. This isn’t meant to be for our glory, but for His.
- “that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak” – again, completely dependent on prayer, Paul wants to speak in a way that makes Jesus visible to others. Our arrogance, glorification or pride won’t present a clear picture of Jesus. Only supernatural intervention in our timing, understanding, language and the other person’s heart being open to see will put Jesus on display through our words.
It’s a pleasure to serve the King. It’s not about us.