After Yeshua rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples over a period of forty days to encourage and instruct them. On one occasion, He told them they must wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the promised Holy Spirit who would then empower them to go out and witness (Acts 1:4-8).
One of the marks of a true believer is the desire to share the good news of salvation in Yeshua with others. Good, honest and successful evangelism is both motivated and carried out through the Holy Spirit. Yet there is some question as to whether or not the Holy Spirit will use us to speak on God’s behalf if we are barely willing.
God is not daunted. Our will never defeats Him, but it can defeat us. If we say we want to witness, we need to ask ourselves if we are all out” in that intention. Before you say, “Yes,” think of Ananias and Sapphira.
They were not required by the church or the apostles to sell their property. Nor were they required to lay all of the proceeds from the sale at the feet of the apostles. It was up to them, but their decision was typical of those made by double-minded people. On one hand, they wanted to be seen as doing a very noble act which would benefit the church and the cause of Christ. On the other hand, they wanted to hold back something for themselves.
It would have been alright for Ananias and Sapphira to sell their property and give some of the money they had gained to the Lord—if only they had presented it in that way. They might even have been commended for their generosity. But they wanted recognition for a total commitment that they did not have.
We cannot be taking care of our selfish desires while we’re taking care of God’s work. When witnessing opportunities arise, one can’t say, “Sorry, it’s my baby’s birthday” or “I already have tickets to the baseball game for that time” or “That is my night to wash my hair and watch my favorite TV program.” Being all-out for God does not mean that we can’t celebrate occasions with our loved ones, or go to a game, or have clean hair, or even watch television. But we need the kind of flexibility that recognizes witnessing opportunities as rare, not abundant. If we don’t seize the moment, it will be forever lost.
All too often, the missing ingredient to successful evangelism is PASSION.
It’s not enough merely to have strongly held convictions. It’s important that we spend our waking minutes thinking about the cause of our life, the Christ of our love, the message of the Messiah, and how we can put it across to others.
This doesn’t mean that we will only have only one passion in our lives. A person who passionately serves Christ can and should be passionate about caring for their family. They may also passionately enjoy baseball or music. Passion gives us the energy to struggle, and gives us the focus to see things clearly.
Sometimes we have our evangelistic passion trained out of us by school, or relationships, or living in a society that does not value that passion. Passion is activism in a society that wants us to be passive, to hold still, to be manageable. Passion is allowing ourselves to be joyous, or even angry for the right reasons. For feeling what we should, others may regard us as being fanatics.
No imperial decree can produce passion in an individual. No set of guidelines ever showed us how to have fire in our hearts. No organization can inject us with enthusiasm and passion. We find passion by narrowing our focus.
Maybe none of us can be completely “all-out” for God but most of us can find a passion for service if we try…if we truly desire it, if we focus, pray, surrender our will to God and allow the Holy Spirit to fan the fire in our hearts.