I didn’t grow up knowing what Faith was or even knowing Jesus; but looking back I believe both were what kept me going. It was an unknown Faith, a faith only from God. I began to discover what that Faith meant through Pastors and prayer. Laying through different medical tests for hours really makes you grow close to God. I wouldn’t of had it any other way.
Where does bold faith come from? For one thing, our faith has to be personal before our boldness has authenticity. Growing up, I was anything but bold about my faith. I said I had a personal relationship with Jesus, but frankly, it wasn’t that personal. How could I talk about something that I wasn’t really sure about?
It was kind of a borrowed relationship with Christ. I borrowed from my parents and I borrowed from my pastor and from a few friends.
So I didn’t have much boldness. If someone were to ask me to share who Jesus was to me, I mostly fumbled with words.
Some of us say that “my faith is a personal thing,” when in fact, we haven’t seen enough of Jesus for our faith to be personal. We seem timid because we’re unsure if what we say we believe is really true.
I was on a mission trip to Mexico. The rain was falling and the mud under our feet made walking difficult. We were visiting homes in the slum where we worked.
I walked around with a group of them while the rain beat down on us. We were soaked even under our ponchos. The water underfoot was so deep that our knee-high boots filled up with water.
We needed some energy, but our faith felt as soggy as our clothes. When asked to talk, the team began by mumbling words somebody had taught them – stale testimonies, words that lacked conviction.
Yet as we walked from home to home, asking if we could pray with people, a great thing happened. People realized that whatever it was that we wanted to talk about, it must be important to be out in that rain.
One woman whose ten year-old was bed-ridden asked us to pray. A woman whose three year-old daughter was deaf and mute asked us to pray.
Eventually, there were fewer of us walking from door to door, but I noticed that people were getting bolder. The last home we visited, we had to walk through what looked like a lake to get to the front door.
The lady’s name was Alicia. She had been seeking Jesus, but he seemed distant to her. During the week, Alicia had seen how much we loved her children who had been playing with us in VBS. She had seen how much we cared about her in wading through the water to get to her door.
Something was different as we spoke with her. A team member boldly told her that we were offering her the words of eternal life and that today was the day of salvation. Alicia prayed to Jesus that day, partly because she had sought him so long, and partly because our boldness gave her confidence as to the reality of what we were saying.
Well put Seth! That’s just about how I’ve experienced it. I continue to realize how shallow my faith has been for so long, and how much lip service I give to Jesus when I pray and talk with Him. That is getting better, I think, as I release control more and more.
Subscribe to Radical Living:
Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.