Have you ever recognized how brilliantly deceptive your heart can be? Our hearts can be masterful at creating excuses for our neglect of responsibility so that we feel no qualms about not doing what we should.
My heart works this way with evangelism. The excuse I use is one that is familiar: “I don’t have opportunity”. I’m a pastor, right? So, I work with Christians, I serve Christians, my wife is a Christian, and my friends are Christians. I tell myself it’s okay that I don’t share the gospel more, because to do so would require taking time away from my young family or the flock God has given me to care for.
My heart uses this excuse to suppress the Holy Spirit’s conviction for me to proclaim Christ to the lost and so I feel safe with my hands tied, ever-ready to say, “When God sends me an unbeliever, I’ll be waiting.”
In those times, however, when the Lord has me thinking biblically, I realize the blessing and the need to share the gospel, and, like Paul, I pray for opportunities to tell people that Jesus saves (Colossians 4:3). What happens when I do this? Something amazing… sooner or later God answers my prayer! Sometimes the opportunities take a little more work than others, but God has been faithful to provide them.
I am convinced that we don’t pray this prayer enough because we know God is faithful and we know he answers prayers… and if we pray that prayer and he answers it, then we no longer have the convenience of saying we don’t have opportunities to evangelize.
Please pray with me that we will be so gripped by the gospel and enjoy Christ so deeply that we will have the courage to pray for gospel opportunities with the lost.