The more I think about Abba’s heart for his lost sheep, the more I realize that nothing about that ‘me, myself and I on the way to heaven life’ I once craved is really going to be possible if I let God. What God really wants is for me and you through our lives to bring an authenticity to Him that people cannot ignore. He wants us to be generous with our lives. When He asks us to be witnesses, what does He mean? You know how the signatures of witnesses bring validity to a document or their presence affirms a narrative, He wants us to be that for the gospel. Witnesses that bring an authenticity to what the bible says.
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matt. 5:14-16 (MSG)
On 1 January, a friend in the States had mentioned that God laid an amount on her heart to fund an indigent student in school in Nigeria and she was led to tell me to identify someone for her. I told her to give me some time because no one immediately came to mind. Last weekend I got a phone call from a lady whom I met in 2016, she called to say thank you and her son requested to say hello as well because he also wanted to thank me. As we spoke, I just knew he was the one those fees were meant for. I asked about when his school was resuming and the school fees in passing and it was around the figure my friend had been led to give. I was so excited, there and then, I felt great, like by opening up to this young man, we had shown an authentic representation of this God that answers prayers because the family had been trusting God for the fees.
It was a really small thing but that’s one of the things that gives a legitimacy to our witnessing, the generosity of our lives and the miraculous at work in our lives on the regular. God wants us to go public, to get the word out there. We are supposed to become comfortable in the darkness cos we are supposed to shine bright as lights on a light stand. It is supposed to be our normal to be walking signposts of God’s power as we go about like Jesus, healing the sick and casting out demons. Then people will be drawn to the Jesus we want to introduce them to without much effort. When we carry the power of God on the regular, when we are the God-colours in the world, witnessing becomes easy. So, the more I think about the heart of the father for the lost, the more I am reminded that this new ‘norm’ where we think power with God is too extra, where we don’t open our mouths to pray or speak because that is for pastors, and where we are so caught up with what we call ‘cool’ that we don’t want to exhibit the gifts of the spirit, the more I am reminded that they have to give way.
Some time ago, I attended a class in church and the pastor was teaching about how inhibited we are and how unaware we are of how much of God we carry. So he asked us to pray for people in the class whom we weren’t so familiar with as we were led to their hearing. We did that for one another and people were amazed at how accurate it was for them individually. But we tend to leave it to ‘pastors’ because we do not think we have power. Truth is that, God is more willing to bring the lost home than we realize and the activation is our willingness to step up in faith. Imagine the latent power we carry as believers that we are unwilling to activate because it may seem queer to say what’s on your heart for someone else. But that, right there is the compelling power that God wants us to exhibit to bring an authenticity to the gospel that we are witnesses of.
Sometimes we feel unqualified, but honestly, God wants us broken and shattered, but willing. Often, we wonder what to say but like the Samaritan woman, all we need sometimes is to say exactly what God has done for us and you know what else? Many times, the seed is us keeping open houses, living generously and pouring our lives out in obedience to the father. He uses that to bring others to conviction.
Let’s go out there and be witnesses.