Why Do We Psych Ourselves Out?

So, last Tuesday, four of us went to Iowa State University to pass out tracts and talk to people one on one about the gospel. I probably gave out over 60 “What Time Is Purple” books, and 100+ tracts. Most of the students didn’t take anything. “So, last Tuesday, four of us went to Iowa State University to pass out tracts and talk to people one on one about the gospel. I probably gave out over 60 What Time Is Purple books, and 100+ tracts. Most of the students didn’t take anything.

To be honest, I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t present, though if you saw me out there you thought I was. I was joking around, lightening up the mood like I normally do, but it felt different. I was really nervous and filled with anxiety being there. My thoughts went right to security escorting me off campus and a reminder of when that almost happened at Drake University. When I stood on the corner by the busses, I froze, and prayed that the Lord would just give me boldness.

Being scared is normal

What I have to remember is that being scared is normal. What I was experiencing was a normal reaction. It doesn’t make me a coward feeling heart-racing, wanting to sit on a bench scared. Even the boldest Christians you know get scared.

I was talking with a Camera Man from Living Waters Ministries who works closely with the legendary Ray Comfort. Since he goes on the street frequently with Ray to share the gospel and film his YouTube segments someone asked him if Ray still gets nervous going out on the streets. He emphatically said, ‘Yes!’ Ray Comfort, the President and Founder of Living Waters Ministry, the go-to expert of everything evangelism, still battles fear…even 50 years after his conversion. Not only that, but just about every conversation with someone on the street makes him at least nervous.

I’ve done this plenty of times before

But I’ve done this plenty of times before. I’ve gone to college campuses, grade schools, and high schools and passed out Gideon New Testaments without blinking; angry mama bears yelling at me wanting to slit my throat. I’ve passed out Gideon Bibles at Iowa State University before. Why was this different? I don’t know. Maybe because with the Gideons I had somewhat of a “covering” and a letter from a lawyer saying it was a constitutional right to be there? Maybe because I was with a whole group of Gideon men that already told the campus that we were going to be there and therefore got permission? But what I needed to do was press through it and do it anyway.

We are given all authority

The truth is that we have been given all authority to witness and share our faith from the King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 28:18). It doesn’t get higher than that. You don’t have to ask for permission, or forgiveness. We are commanded by God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person (Mark 16:15). Just do it.

Push through

But the thing is that I went. I pushed through my feelings and did what I was supposed to do. It’s not about feelings. Our feelings lie –obviously. But it is through others that we gain strength, boldness, and courage to go out and share Jesus to the lost. When others are with me, I am encouraged. When others are praying for me, I am encouraged. When I see others boldly sharing Christ, I am encouraged.

The first tract is the hardest to give out. After that it gets easier…I promise. As we submit to God, we resist the devil (James 4:7). Humility and humbleness are mentioned in several places in James chapter 4. Why? Because humbly submitting yourself to God and doing what we know we ought to do despite what the world says, what people say, what our feelings tell us; but because God commanded it. It is a humbling thought that God would use a person like me to share His good news with the world, to be used to save sinners from the wrath of God. My sins are many; along with failures, inadequacies, shortcomings, lacking education, and the list grows ever long.

But in James chapter 4, humility and humbleness are a command; it is something we need to do. I need to humble myself to the point of being a servant. I was bought with the price of God’s one and only Son’s blood (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 7:23; 1 Peter 1:18-19), and so were you if you are a Christian. My life is not my own any longer. But being a servant and slave of Christ should give us boldness and courage; our lives are in our Master’s hand. The Master is to take care of us; not as a slave — but as a son, and heir, a child of God.

Soldiers on the battlefield facing certain death are scared and terrified. That is normal; it does not make them cowards. It makes them brave because even though the odds are against them, they still go.

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