Have I Lost My Passion?
During one of my prayer times recently, I thought about the need to witness more (directly share the gospel through spoken proclamation).
As I was thinking and praying about this, I began to rehearse what I would say as part of my gospel presentation. While doing this, I realized that I hadn’t actually included my testimony.
I was taken back by this notion and even a little concerned. I started to wonder if I had actually become a dry pharisee (as many seminary grads are accused of being) only concerned with study and living the “right” kind of life. I was worried that my Christian life had turned too inward and that I had lost my passion for sharing the gospel.
As I continued to pray about this, I realized I had not lost my passion. Instead, my passion had simply shifted from what God had done––years ago in my past––to what God was doing in my life, today.
Currently, my passion is on discipleship. I want to see young Christians grow and develop in their relationship with Jesus. I want to help disciples become better followers of Christ. To do this, I want to show people how Theology and having simple conversations can change their life.
Because of this goal, I am more concerned with who God is. In addition to being the creator and sustainer of the universe, He is Lord––the one to whom I pledge my allegiance above all. He is my teacher, my comforter, and my strength. He sustains me through all of life’s challenges and uncertainties (even though he can be the cause of some of those uncertainties).
So while I felt condemned at first by the thought of not sharing my testimony (salvation experience) during a gospel presentation, I was later encouraged after realizing my testimony had progressed past what God had done.
My testimony now focused on what God was in the process of doing.
My initial realization and acceptance of God’s grace and sacrifice was an amazing experience; but my journey with him since has been equally amazing.
Salvation Is Just the Beginning
I think a perception exists in the church that views our initial salvation experience as extraordinary, but the living out of that salvation as less so. We get excited when we think back to that wondrous day when we first bowed our head and closed our eyes to pray, inviting Jesus into our hearts to save us from our sin (At least that is how it happened for me as a kid).
In my teen years, like most, I spent a brief time running from the Lord and his will for my life. When I finally decided to get serious about following Christ, that moment was a glorious grace filled experience of repentance. It was complete with all the emotions from remorse to joy, and the tears flowed through them all. I love thinking back to that moment and the people that poured into my life making that moment possible.
I will always cherish that memory, but my journey did not end there. For the next 10+ years, God continued to speak into my life, “saving” me each day from sin and destruction.
My relationship with God and my experience of his presence is so much richer, now, than it was a decade ago. I see this as extremely encouraging.
I want to continue to grow in my relationship with the Lord and move toward the calling that he has for me. God is doing things in my life right now, today, and those are the things I want to share with others.
The Power of Our Testimonies
However, I realize that for unbelievers, they often need to hear what that initial experience was like. They need to know that I did not get to where I am today overnight. The progress I’ve made in my Christian walk has been a product of God’s grace, because I too was pretty messed up.
Unbelievers need to feel reassured that they can come to Jesus as they are. In fact, they need to know they can’t come to Jesus any other way. They can’t clean themselves up first, and then come to Jesus. We must trust him fully, with total abandonment to ourselves and our pride.
That is the way all of us came to Christ. None of us were perfect or good enough to “get saved.” Showing God’s transformative work through our early testimonies is often necessary to demonstrate God’s power to change their lives.
An unbeliever will feel it is impossible for them to be forgiven and redeemed. That is where our testimonies of God’s incredible grace and transformative work are needed the most.
Our testimonies of what God is doing now––currently in our lives––can also be a powerful way of showing them what an incredible journey they are choosing by making the decision to follow Christ.
The Christian life of discipleship is not an easy one. We have to pick up our crosses and die daily to follow Christ. There are many trials and hardships. We will have many questions, fears, and doubts as a result of choosing this life.
But it’s all worth it! Every day is an adventure. Every day is a chance to know the Creator of the universe, and be known and loved by him.
We can’t keep this from world. So let’s show them what they are missing.
Join the Conversation: How do you share the gospel with others? Do you include your testimony? Let us know in the comments below.
Share the Conversation: Share what God did to save you and how he continues to work in your life each day.