We overcome all of our fears when the need to overcome that fear exceeds the fear itself. When the reasons love gives are louder than the excuses fear brings, we are driven by love to push past the fear.
1 John 4:18 says “Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is his punishment that makes a person fear. So his love is not made perfect in the one who has fear.”
Imagine this scenario...
A firefighter is climbing up a sixty-foot ladder on a burning building. At the top of the ladder, a mother is leaning out of the window with her two children as the flames spread closer to them.
The heat from the fire has them soaking in sweat as the flames start to lick their clothes.
Of course the firefighter would rather be in the comfort of his home with his wife watching a movie and enjoying life, but love compels him to keep climbing.
Jude 22-23 likens us to firefighters, "Help those who have doubts. Rescue those who are living in danger of hell's fire..."
Even though the mother and her children are strangers to him, and even as scary as the situation is, he cannot call himself a firefighter if he lets fear stop him from saving them.
In the same way, we cannot call ourselves followers of Christ if we allow fear to stop us from proclaiming the message of Jesus to the lost.
Romans 1:16 says, "I am proud of the Good News, because it is the power God uses to save everyone who believes..."
Maybe you're concerned about how a person you want to witness to will react, or how they will view you.
Maybe your family will disown you, or your friends will think you've lost your mind. Maybe you get labeled as a religious freak.
Do any of those opinions matter under the weight of eternity?
Jesus said, "I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of people. They can kill the body but after that they can do nothing more to hurt you. I will show you the one to fear. You should fear God, who has the power to kill you and also throw you into hell. Yes, he is the one you should fear."
To remain silent about such a great salvation we have in Jesus is sin. "If you fail to do what you know is right, you are sinning." (James 4:17)
Brothers and sisters, let the fear of God and the consequences of NOT witnessing to others outweigh the fear of man and any excuse we may have.
If these ideas resonated with you, try praying this prayer:
Forgive me for the times I have been afraid to tell others about your Gospel and for fearing people more than You.
Forgive me for not doing what I know is right.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, make me into a bold witness for You.
Open my eyes to understand the importance of witnessing to others. Fill my heart with Your love and compassion for the world.
Help me to love people with Your love and give me the wisdom to know how to approach people, what to say, and how to say it.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.