“I couldn’t begin to count the times you’ve been there for me. With the skill of a poet I’ll never run out of things to say of how you faithfully kept me from danger. I will come forth in your mighty strength, O my Lord God. I’ll tell everyone that you alone are the perfect one.” Psalm 71:15-16 TPT
If you invited David, the Psalmist, to your family cookout, I believe he soon would be holding the whole family in riveting silence, telling story, after story, after story. Not only would it be his story, he would be the minor character in the story of his relationship with God. While never perfect, he understood all his mountaintop experiences were gifts from God, while his valleys were a product of his own poor decisions, or in some cases, down-right rebellion from God. Nevertheless, David’s stories celebrate God’s perfect delivery system about salvation to the world; one man telling his story about God.
Every opportunity God allows me to share my story is another opportunity to brag about Him. I see sharing God’s message about what he has done in my life as a Holy Assignment. Trust me, I don’t take these opportunities for granted, and in fact, my experiences and stories in training may be just what this person needs to be able to personalize the great love God has for people.
Whether you realize it or not, we have each been given unique platforms to draw people closer to Jesus Christ. Your story is unlike every other person’s story. There are people only you can reach; don’t you want them to have what you have? It would be great if all of us went to the seminary, and knew the whole Bible verbatim, but we didn’t, and most of us don’t, and that does not disqualify you from being able to tell someone your story about God and how he changed your life. And no need to be afraid, God grants us his supernatural strength right when we need it most and anoints our words for strategic impact!
Oh, I get it, “You’re super busy.” You may have a million excuses, “I don’t know enough, I am in school, my kids are small, or I am working all day, but what if God could use you right where you are?” Well the truth is, he will use you right where you are! For example, one student standing strong in the face of temptation or adversity, or a young mother encouraging another in the depths of despair. Perhaps one employee offers a word of encouragement to a fellow worker. God opens doors of opportunities, but we must be willing to care enough to share the love and push the doors open wide.
Our stories must not be superficial, they must be painfully real. We must be willing to chip off the veneer of shame and let people see how God rescues us from the bondage of sin and the dark city of hopelessness.
Not every assignment will go smoothly, as a matter of fact, there will be obstacles, road blocks, and bumps along the way. Keep this in mind, if it’s God’s plan, he will make a way! He may have
a different strategy or may have a different route for you. He may send you on a few detours or send you through construction sites for shaping and molding, but He knows through the pain we will grow closer to Him and our spiritual maturity. This journey will produce plenty of grace growers who will try your patience, along with just the right number of grace carriers to refresh you along the way. It’s all good when writing your story in training for God.
Whoops, I forgot to mention one other warning. Satan, the enemy of our soul, aka the father of lies, will be working against you trying to deceive, discourage, distract, manipulate, tempt, ruin your reputation, destroy your witness, slander, falsely accuse, while also attempting to kill, steal and destroy your life. Whew, that’s a lot of bad stuff! So…keep your eyes on Jesus and when you encounter the evil one, tell him to get out of your way, and leave, in the name of Jesus!
If you are unsure about the importance of your stories, let’s read His Word. “If you openly and publicly acknowledge me, I will freely and openly acknowledge you before my heavenly Father.” Matthew 10:32 (TPT) How about Psalm 66:16 (NLT), “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.”
There are no better examples of sharing their story about Jesus, and the love of God, than those told during the Athena Awards Luncheon last Tuesday. Standing before a record crowd of 500, Girls, Inc. members as young as seven boldly proclaimed their love for Jesus and for one another. Setting an example many adults should emulate, they demonstrated a confidence which personifies their motto of “strong, smart and bold.”
But what really stirred my heart was the story of Stephanie Hagan, mother of one Girls, Inc. member. As she recited one horrific event in her life after another, with voice cracking, it was clear the nails that pierced our Savior’s hands had lifted her out of the pit and into His love. Stephanie, like her daughter, was “strong, smart and bold.” There is nothing to compare to Jesus, and it shows in the lives of believers!
“I tell everyone everywhere the truth of your righteousness. And you know I haven’t held back in telling the message to all. I don’t keep it a secret or hide the truth. I preach of your faithfulness and kindness, proclaiming your extravagant love to the largest crowd I can find!” Psalm 40:9-10 (TPT)
Is there someone you know without Jesus just dying to hear your story?