But perfect love casts out fear
1 John 4:18
I used to really be afraid of evangelizing. I hated it. And sometimes I still hate it.
I hate it because there’s a fear that arose when I walked up to strangers or even friends about Jesus. I don’t know where that fear comes from but I hated that too because I know I was supposed to evangelize.
But it was bad too because I was stuck between two fears: hating evangelizing and hating the fear of evangelizing (I know, that’s a bad place to be…). Unfortunately, hating evangelizing was greater so I never really evangelized.
My prayers for growing were always, “God break my fear! God break my fear! God break my fear!”
But little did I know, in time, his answer came somewhere along the lines of:
“Phil, if you want to not fear, then you need to know my love.”
This passage in 1 John says that it is love which drives out fear. It is only the reality of being perfectly loved and secure in Jesus our Maker that we have strength in our spirits to speak of him.
It is a love which goes beyond words. All I can say is that as I asked God more and more of his love, the more fire I had in spirit to speak to people about Jesus.
The love he filled me with just overflowed onto others and I could talk freely about Jesus because I loved him so much. And so I found that fear kept subsiding as my love from and for Jesus grew.
And the more my love from Jesus grew, the more I could feel his love for the people I met. I didn’t have to force it, I didn’t have to swallow down fear as much, I didn’t have to perform; I just…goozed with his love.
I didn’t have a message on my head I needed to force out; I had a person living in my heart who was already coming out.
If you are afraid of evangelizing in any way, know this: only encountering Jesus’ love will cure your soul. True evangelism, like all ministry, is overflow. You’ll never dish out what you haven’t received.
Know his perfect love.