Do you ever struggle with fear when God’s asking you to step out and share the gospel with someone? I know that I have fought that feeling most of my life. This past year I’ve discovered some amazing things that have helped me to not only overcome my fear. I have stepped into my destiny sharing the gospel with others!
I remember one specific afternoon, I stopped at the store to pick up a few things for dinner on my way home from work. As I was walking through the grocery store I saw the same man 3 times in different parts of the store. Every time I walked by him, the Lord was nudging me to talk to him and each time I just smiled and walked by. When I stepped in line at the checkout, he followed. It was clear, I should say something to him. My thoughts raced, frozen with not knowing what to say and fear of what he might think. I awkwardly smiled as I paid for my groceries and went to my car. I immediately knew that I missed my opportunity, I did not do what I was supposed to do. My heart was filled with disappointment and I never saw the guy again. Then the conviction hit my heart, I was saddened that I missed an opportunity to obey the Holy Spirit. His loving kindness flooded my heart as I repented, committing in my heart to slay this giant of fear in my life that was keeping me from doing His Will.
Here are 5 lessons I learned over the last 18 months that have helped me overcome fear.
Kingdom Identity: If you know who your Father in Heaven says you are then the fear of man has no authority. If you don’t know what God thinks about you, then you will listen to what the devil says about you. When you see how perfectly you are loved, you can’t be afraid anymore. (1 John 4:18)
SEE IT!: Acknowledge the presence of fear, SEE the lie for what is and know where it came from. Find the truth in the word of God (2 Timothy 1:7) When the devil tries to whisper to you, just remember the reality of God’s love and it cast it out.
Take Courage: Do it anyway, even though fear is present (yet only for a moment), be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9)
“Courageous people are not fearless, they are people who refuse to let fear tell them what to do. Fear often protects treasures, valuables, and divine destinies! Fear is a spirit whose mission is to strategically demoralize its victims and scare them out of their God-given purpose.”
Fear no longer dictates my actions. I am filled with the unconditional Love of the Father, and my worship to Him at that moment is obedience. (1 John 4:4)
I find the greatest moment of sharing the gospel or praying for people is when I am moved to action by sensing the Herat of the Father for the person I am reaching. If I have a chance before going up to someone, I simply ask the Lord “Father, show me your heart for this person”. (1 John 4:21)
The Truth – Recieve a shift in perspective. This is not about success or failure but it is all about simple obedience. (John 14:23)
When I learned to just focus on being obedient, the pressure to perform and get results faded away. Therefore success IS actually my obedience. So now, every time that I step out and obey, I get to celebrate regardless if someone is rude or gets radically saved. My obedience is pleasing to Him and we get a “win” every time!
I’ve discovered that each time I go into a public place I have the opportunity to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life. I’m realizing that I simply get to respond, to the Lord because of the love that I’ve discovered in Him. I’m learning, the more Love that I receive from the Lord, the more I want to do what He says. (John 14:15-24) My obedience to Him is a response to His Love for me, my actions are fueled by His love and my heart is filled with worship to Him as I do what he says. I know now what He says about me, and I know His unconditional love for me was not earned but it is a free gift to be received.
NOW WHAT!?!?! I would simply encourage you to start up a friendly conversation the next time you feel that nudge. You will be surprised, think of it as an adventure into the heart of God’s people. Simply practice, listening and obeying the Holy Spirit.
Remember, what happens is not up to you, but the Holy Spirit through you, He is the one who put you there, to begin with. (1 Corinthians 2:4)
Steven Bedsole II
I have been serving in some way with Take the city since October 2013. I spent a lot of time on the prayer team in the beginning and encountered God’s heart for the city in a life changing way. When the teams came back and shared testimonies, it was always fun to see that our prayers coincided with some of their testimonies in special ways. More recently I have had the privilege of leading a team to a nursing home where I used to be an employee. I used to pray over the facility every day, and it was such a miracle to see an old friend who lives there give his life to Jesus on one of our outreaches a year later. God sure has a way of answering prayers. And Take the City is an answer to so many prayers that have gone up here.