There is found in the church of God during this age of social distancing a tendency toward reluctance in our witness to those whom we may deem as different or alien from the life of God. However, now it is time to consider that despite our anxieties and inadequacies, the Holy Spirit empowers us to draw near for witness.
Necessarily, we must allow our hearts and minds to become detached from our own fears and foibles, loose our attachment to our own voice, and listen attentively for the voice of God. As we focus on God’s voice, we begin to trust that wherever God sends us for witness, he will open a way for His word to be heard.
Look, if you will, at the evangelist Phillip being instructed by God to go into the desert. Not many of us would be comfortable taking our witness into the desert, and particularly in an area which had been the home of a fierce enemy. Nevertheless, we see Phillip following the voice of God, trusting His power to accomplish the task.
That voice of God is still speaking in the hearts and minds of people today; only let us open ourselves to hear and receive His instruction to go and be a witness. Although we may find ourselves in a strange land, there will be no need for dismay because the life of God, His precious Holy Spirit empowers us to draw near for a word of witness.
God’s Holy Spirit imparts the ability to not only draw near, but to join ourselves to those who we may have thought to be unlovable and without hope in the world. Joining ourselves to others has to do with sincere compassion and empathy, identifying with their circumstances, confusion, and crises. Such caring opens the unsaved up to you and to the witness given unto you by the Holy Spirit.
People of God it is time, now more than ever, to draw near and preach Jesus in the midst of a dry and thirsty land. It is time to put away our intimidations, insecurities, and introverted ways, and trust the word of Jesus which instructs us to “…take no thought beforehand what you shall speak, neither premeditate, but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak, for it is not you that speaks, but the Holy Ghost” (Mark 13:11). My brothers and my sisters, put away shame, do not be afraid, allow the Holy Spirit to empower you to draw near and be a witness for Christ.
L. Jerome Jones