Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Being a witness for Jesus

Since my childhood days, I've always thought that witnessing for Jesus means talking to people about God's immense love for him and how Jesus gave up His life for him. During an altar call at the Asian Youth Camp, I decided very seriously that I will give my life and purpose all to the service of God and the furtherance of His purpose. With great internal struggle, I stood before the Lord, pleading with Him to show me His will and purpose for me.

My heart was open and searching since that fateful day. In my mind, witnessing was inviting friends to church, organizing programs in church that are focused on outreach or having outings with church friends that can create opportunities to share the gospel. That has been the methods many churches use to evangelism. However, in my church these methods hardly have any effect on the non-Christians. Invited friends come and go, people hardly come back after attending our outings and also we've yet to organise any outreach programs. So seriously, at that time, I didn't know how to witness. Every method I know of doesn't seem to work. I'm not very influential, I can't really spiritually influence people the way some people can. Neither do I have great moving testimonies to tell that can ignite passion for God in others. I seriously felt really quite lost. I wanted give myself to God totally for His purpose alone but I didn't know how or where to begin.

That night, this lovely two girls came to look for me, Theresa and Wei ting. They said they're looking for people to talk to. Not to long later, we had a group of Eight of us gathered together. Ming sheng, Wei ting, Theresa, Me, Jireh, Linus, One of the Students from Sanyu and Thomas. I think, perhaps, they too had some unexplainable feeling. There at the meet, I asked everyone what they intend to do to help "bring the message to all the world". No one had any plans. Neither did I. Then, Linus said "I think what everyone can do is improve themselves. Maybe start by doing your quiet time every night.". At that time, I was very blind. I felt that we should do more than that. Little did I realise that God was actually speaking to me through Linus then.

Yesterday, I told my Best Friend, Constance, about my experience, she was really silent. In my mind I was wondering "what is she thinking?" but right at the end of our phone call, she said "i think how you can witness for God is how you act whether or not people are looking at you" She told me that being a christian is being little mirrors for Jesus, reflecting his character and his love.

This afternoon, i was telling my dad about the struggle i faced when met with the altar call at the camp and i drew parallels of my struggle to that of the rich young ruler i read about last night during my quiet time in the Desire of Ages (page 518) . The Rich young ruler had been a faithful servant of God and have been sincerely keeping the Ten commandments but he had an idol in his heart and that is his riches and possessions. He did not view what he has as God-given gifts but rather something gained through his own effort and thus have taken great pride and ownership of the things he owned. When asked to sell all that he has and follow God, he found it very difficult because the purpose of his life is no longer just to serve God but also to serve himself. Similarly for me, when the preacher asked "Youth~! will you run the race for God? Even if it may mean a 180 degree turn in your education?... " I was very reluctant to give up what i have achieved so far in my education. I was super reluctant to run the race for God? My pursuit for education has become my idol. What i have attained so far i view it not as a blessing from God but more of something due to my own hardwork and perserverance. When met at that point of contendion, i realised that i haven't been dying to self and living for Christ. I realised that each time i prayed to God before my exams saying, "dear God, Please help me in my exams but still let your will be done and not my own."I was being a hypocrit because in my heart i am still secretly hoping not for his will to be done but for him to help me to do well. I cherished this pursuit and it has hindered me from totally giving myself to God for His purpose. I found it really hard to give it up. Until i asked ting ting, "It means giving up EVERYTHING for God leh... " and she said "i don't mind lorhz..."She's willing to give up everything for God. Why am i hesitating? How many times have i prayed for God to use me as His instrument and yet now i delay? Why am i choosing worldly greatness over heavenly treasure? Everything clicked at that moment and i said "Yes, Jesus you're worth it. "

On a lighter note, I was telling my daddy about what i learnt at the camp with regards to why we are discouraged from watching movies and listening to unwholesome music. This is what i told him, " Our brain can be separated into two parts. The frontal brain (The Consious) and the back of our brain (The Sub-consious). The frontal brain contains our conscience, judgement and reasoning. The back of our brain contains our appetite and passion which is also our human tendency. Our sub-consious mind remembers and absorbs everything we experience with our five senses whether we like it or not. Our consious mind thinks and makes everyday decisions. If we are to expose ourselves to negative influences, ideas, images or even emotions. Our sub-conscious mind which is our emotional drive, appetite and passions becomes stronger and stronger and it makes it harder and harder for your conscious mind to overcome the sub-conscious. Thus, it makes it harder for us to make the right decisions. If we are to keep exposing ourselves to the positive influence of scriptures and abide by phil 4:8, our carnal nature will be more tame and thus makes it harder for Satan to sway you away from the righteous path." After i'm done, my daddy asked me if they also gave scientific evidence to prove this. I told him that the evidence is understand how the brain works and how things can affect us. Then he said, "If you go to church and tell the youths what you just told me, they will look at what kind of person you are before deciding whether or not to believe you. Say in future, you grow up to be a respectable person and when people look at you, they say ' Karen is a good person'. Then you tell them what you just told me, they will believe you." There and then i realised what my Father was saying. Only when you are someone that people respect, will your words hold weight to them. Only after you have gained someone's respect through the way you act and live your life can you influence that person.

What i viewed as not enough at the start, was actually the basis and foundation for witnessing. God has used these three people to help me understand one great principle.
  • Linus started by saying that we should start by improving ourselves. Then, i didn't really understand why.
  • Constance continued by saying that we can witness by being Little mirrors of Jesus. Then, i sort of understand.
  • Daddy showed me the importance of reflecting the character and life of Jesus; of being an upright and obedient servant of God. Then, i finally understood.

When we reached my house's void deck, my dad gave me a hug and a kiss. Just before i closed the door of the car, he said
" Karen, if you want to be a witness for Jesus, you have to equip yourself."

That sentence hit me like a brick. Friends, you open your ears to hear carefully, you can hear God talking to you all the time!

God is a patient God. God is a living God. God is the Lord of all!!!

Praise the Lord!!!


Honey Bear said...

God was definately smiling on you when he saw you commit your life to him that very night together with the rest of us..

Let the little light within you shine brightly and lead those lost in the world towards the greater light.

I know you made the right decision.. With God as your Big Brother.. who dares to stand up to you?

Isaac Chan said...

I do face same struggle you go tru. I often prayed, "let thy will be done" but, in me, "I want MY WILL be done".

But, please don't give up! Keep ask the Lord to show you His will. He is delighted and all ready to give you the best!

Please dont give up witnessing for God. I also easily discourage when I saw my works without fruit. But, we are the worker. We do our job and let the Lord take care the results.

By the way, think of poor Noah. He preached for such a long long long long long long long long long long time. Yet, end up 8 person, his own family got into the ark.

God really needs a talented person like you! I am confident that He will use you!