Sadly, around nine out of ten Christians who are legitimate followers of Christ have never verbally shared the gospel with another person. We are the possessors and stewards of eternal life yet most of us have never shared with someone at work, in our family, or in our neighborhood how we received this eternal life.
The reason? We’re afraid.
Let’s face it, all of us are pretty concerned that someone’s going to ask us something and we won’t know how to respond. We fear what might happen, but we also fear that we don’t have what we need in order to be the person that God wants to use.
Unfortunately, we often allow our fear to keep us paralyzed.
In Acts 4, we see how the Spirit of God wants to help us overcome our fear through the life of Peter.
Peter was no superstar. One day, he was simply on his way to a prayer meeting like usual when God gave him a prompting to pray for a man who was unable to walk. Peter was just obedient to God’s nudge, and as a result, the man was healed.
Then Peter began to preach to those who saw and heard about the miracle and many came to know Christ. Because of this, the priest and the temple guard arrested Peter and John and put them in jail.
The next day, the rulers, the elders, and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so was Caiaphas and John and Alexander and the other men of the high priestly family. They had Peter and John brought before them and they began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?’” (Acts 4:5-7)
In other words, these highly educated, religious men were asking Peter and John, the ordinary and uneducated, “How did you, of all people, pull this off?”
I think that Peter at this moment, in his heart of hearts, was thinking, “Whoa, Lord! I’m afraid! I’m unschooled! I’m ordinary! But … I have to trust that you’ll teach me what I have to say and I believe. Jesus, you promised that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind everything that I need.”
For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:20)
And then Peter spoke with words that weren’t his own: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…” (Acts 4:8-10)
Then, I can imagine that he looked the Sadducees dead in the eye and said: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (v. 12)
Peter is bold. But he’s bold because these aren’t his words. These are the Spirit of God speaking through Peter.
And that promise is as true for us as it was for him and Jesus’ disciples.
If you trust in God and step out in faith when the Holy Spirit prompts you to speak about Him or pray for someone, He will give you everything you need and He’ll speak through you.
The people in your office? He’s preparing them. People in your neighborhood? He’s preparing them. The people in the dog park? He’s preparing them.
You just need to trust that if He’s asked you to speak, He’ll help you do it.
To learn more about this topic and how to apply God’s principles for daily living, check out our additional resources by Chip.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip