(originally posted 11/11/2015 at littlegirlriseup.blogspot.com)
I pray for God to use me in a mighty way. I want to be a warrior for Christ. The problem is, for Him to answer that prayer, He has to keep moving me out of my comfort zone and I don’t like that. If I want to be a warrior for Christ, I can’t do it from my couch. What’s the point in wearing a suit of armor if I never leave my house?
Believe it or not, as bold as I may seem behind my computer screen, I have an irrational fear of rejection. I hate rejection because I experienced it so much as a child. As much as I love God and as much as I desire to serve Him, the thought of walking up to random people to tell them the good news of Jesus Christ terrifies me because I know far more people will reject what I have to say, than accept it. But to become a mighty warrior, I have to step onto the battleground. To be used by God in a mighty way, I have to overcome my fears, lest they remain stumbling blocks that only serve to prevent me from moving forward.
My desire to not fail God is far greater than my fear of rejection, so today I did something entirely outside of my comfort zone. I passed out flyers for our next women’s Bible study in grocery store parking lots and at Target. This may not seem like a monumental feat to most people, but for me it is truly a turning point in my spiritual growth. I teach Bible study, I have a blog, I go to discipleship, I do the women’s ministry for our church, my life truly revolves around Christ, I am truly consumed with Him, but for some bizarre reason I am ridiculously nervous, reserved and hesitant to ask a Walmart checker, a gas station clerk or a random person in the parking lot if they know about Jesus Christ. It makes absolutely no sense. And the reason I’m sharing this brazen confession of my own failure, is because I know I’m not alone.
One of the things God impressed upon me today as I prayed about this is, “How many preachers have you seen talking to people on the street?” My answer to Him was, “None.” That is because it is far more comfortable behind the pulpit, speaking to those who showed up to listen. It’s not terribly difficult to speak to people about Christ when your audience comes to you. The difficult part of ministry is leaving the church and taking the message to those who aren’t looking for it.
Another thing God impressed upon me today while I was whining to Him about having on the wrong shoes for all the walking I was doing and chastising myself for my nervousness was, “A seed must be planted before it can grow.” He showed me that every flyer I stuck on a windshield or handed to an unsuspecting stranger was a potential seed for His kingdom. When the manager of Target came out to the parking lot to ask me to leave because they don’t allow solicitation, I was embarrassed but not discouraged because I had already planted about 50 seeds in their parking lot.
God is leading me to share this candid confession because there are people who need to hear it. There are brothers and sisters in Christ that need to know that they are not alone in their nervousness or anxiety about stepping out onto the battlefield for the Lord. We cannot be mighty warriors if we never enter the battle, for the very notion of a warrior claiming to be mighty is by the many battles they have engaged themselves in and overcome.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
I’m still nervous. And after my Target encounter, now I’m freaked out that someone may ask me to leave their parking lot because they don’t allow solicitation of any kind. But my desire to be a mighty warrior for Christ is greater than my fears. And I know that I will overcome these fears because the Bible tells me I’m more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ. Therefore, tomorrow morning, I will once again leave my comfort zone with my arms full of seeds and cast them out onto the battlefield. I will sow seeds for God to grow into other mighty warriors whose desire to serve Christ will be far greater than any fear.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Rom 8:35-37)