Devotional–The Call to Witness to Others from The Struggle of Sanctification by Sonya Johnson
The Call: Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. –Jeremiah 1:4-5
The Response: Then said I: Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth. –Jeremiah 1:6
God’s Response: But the Lord said to me: Do not say, I am a youth, For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. –Jeremiah 1:7-8
Accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior requires the daily surrender of our hearts. Our desire to faithfully trust and obey God is evidenced by our lifestyle. To be in righteous standing with our Heavenly Father, we must pray for God to speak to us and reveal His plans for our purpose-driven lives.
Many obstacles keep us from fulfilling our spiritual calling of discipleship. Willful disobedience, too many distractions, and the busyness of everyday life are some of the things that separate us from God. Yet, the lack of knowledge of God’s expectations [from not studying the Bible] remains the number one obstacle to actively living as a disciple and witnessing to others. Still, God will hold us accountable for not fulfilling Matthew 28:18-20.
Living as a Spectator: Whether we attend or stream sports events, we are merely spectators who sit and watch the players. Without the diligent study of the Bible and daily prayer for God to reveal His will and purpose for us, we are merely religious spectators. Attending weekly church services is considered Inreach ministry. We listen and receive the spoken Word of God. The error happens when we only receive to benefit ourselves. Believers not only hide the Word in their hearts, but they also take the message of truth and witness to others. Spectators do not experience a transformation of their hearts because of the willful and intentional desire to do nothing.
To serve God requires active participation. In John 17, verse 4, Jesus prayed, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” Yes, we have a duty to God and humanity. Serving God requires action. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus tells us to Go! It is the Outreach ministry of witnessing to others about the love and salvation of Jesus that indicates whether or not we are obeying Jesus’ command to make disciples.
For Christians, making disciples is not an option. Regardless of our daily responsibilities, God must be first! And he expects that we will faithfully fulfill The Great Commission with eagerness and obedience.
God has given everyone a measure of faith and at least one spiritual gift. Some individuals have received multiple gifts and talents. We will be judged by the use or disuse of our spiritual gifts and talents. What did we do with what we were given? Did we utilize our time and gifts to glorify God, witness, and help others?
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant…There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” (1 Corinthians 12:1,4-6)
The other obstacle to using our gifts and talents is that we desire to use them when we feel like it. When Jeremiah gave God the excuse that he was too young, He did not want to commit himself wholeheartedly to his spiritual calling. Yet, in submission to a Great God, he became a powerful prophet.
Yes, Jeremiah experienced imprisonment, rejection, and threats to his life. But God kept his promise to lead, guide, and protect him. God never gives us an assignment and leaves us alone. The same promise that God spoke to Jeremiah, ” ‘Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord.” applies to today’s believers.
The Holy Spirit is creative. Pray for spiritual guidance before witnessing. One day, I went to the store with a heavy burden on my heart. The empty shopping cart felt as if I was pushing a load of bricks. Deep in my thoughts, a man with a smile looked at me and stated, “It’s going to be alright. God loves you.” And he walked away. Those words gave me comfort and strength for that day.
We live in a world full of overwhelming distress. Many need to know that we have a loving Savior. We are nearing home! Jesus is coming soon! Accepting our spiritual assignment is an outward sign of dedication and faithful obedience to God. We are called to live righteous, holy lives and to be messengers who witness the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Witness to at least one person every day!
Prayer: God, we ask for forgiveness for not using our spiritual gifts and talents to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. We ask You to speak to us and reveal our spiritual assignments. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.