What Holds Us Back?

I am a liar. Now, when I say this, let me clarify myself. I guess I should say I “was” a liar. I “became a Christian” when I was nine years old (Lie #1). Although I do not remember much about the experience, I do distinctly remember being scared into getting “saved.” I was told to “repeat after me.” After repeating a prayer while having no idea what I was saying, I was considered by everyone around me to be saved. Oh how excited every single member of my family was. They were just so proud. This seemed to me to be the greatest accomplishment of my life (Lie #2). That thought alone clearly shows that I had no idea what I was claiming to believe. But, nevertheless, that is what I was told. I was told this was the greatest thing I could have ever done by family, friends, and seemingly wise church members. What a deceiving statement: “We are so proud of you for what you did last Sunday.” That is not Christianity. I had the audacity to think that I had done something amazing and that somehow, now, because I had repeated that prayer, I was better than my classmates, friends, and others who were not “saved.” I mean, honestly, I thought that since I was saved, I was too good for all of these non-Christians and needed to stay away from them (Lie #3). This attitude obviously shows that I was not a believer. My high school years were all about me, unless it was convenient to be a Christian. God was working in my life in spite of my rebellion as He sent me my wonderful girlfriend Erica in my first year of high school. In our relationship as she tried to draw closer to God, I made it a point to keep us as far away from Him as possible. I mean I “was a Christian and everything, but I want to live however I want to.” What an attitude to have for a professing believer! Needless to say, I never shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ever. I avoided even the word gospel and criticized anyone who found it important to share it. Even worse, I thought of anyone who found it necessary to share the gospel to be insane. My logic was that “yeah sure, some people may be called to spread the gospel, but that is not for everyone and definitely not for me.” I had this attitude because honestly I had never met the Jesus Christ of the Bible. I claimed to believe in something that I had no idea about. How could I share something with someone that I hadn’t even truly received? That’s just it, I couldn’t have.

Finally, when I got out of the comforts of high school, I started to seek. I was away from my family and friends and felt alone. Granted, I was not alone at all and even saw my family everyday. However, I felt alone. I felt lost. I was lost. God sought me out and He found me. God worked through all my pride in a series of conversations that I had with an atheist. This atheist challenged my beliefs to the point that I finally realized that I didn’t even truly believe it. My life gave no evidence that I believed it and when I tried to defend my faith, I didn’t know what to say. I was angry and defensive. And then, I was broken. I gave up. I put down all my walls and sought after God. I finally realized how evil I really was. I finally realized that I needed a Savior. I realized that this perfect life that God requires, could not be lived by me. I cowered under my God’s convicting power in His Word. I finally realized and told God, “I NEED YOU!” There was no special prayer, no formal altar call, I just broke down and humbly crawled to the cross. I saw the beauty of the gospel for the first time in my life. I didn’t have to live a perfect life, for the perfect life required has already been lived by Jesus. My deserved punishment was already paid for by the blood of Christ. Death has already been defeated by Jesus as He rose from the grave three days after suffering the most undeserved yet necessary death of all time. This grace, this love, this mercy, this power saved me. I did NOTHING. I was now so proud of my Jesus for doing what He did. By the grace of God, I believed. I put all my faith in Him; seriously, all of it. My salvation rests solely on His name. After dying to myself at the cross and by His grace accept the gift of life here on earth and in eternity, I was overwhelmed by a flood of love, peace, and hope. A new desire replaced my selfish ambitions. I desired to and still do desire to praise God daily and become more like His Son. There was one HUGE difference in my life that had most noticeably never been in me before: I desired to tell someone about Him and what He had done. This desire has been burning in me since day 1 of my walk with Christ sometime last year. I have something that fuels my life everyday and fills me with such indescribeable love and joy. I am overwhelmed and given a surplus of peace and hope daily. I seek God in His Word daily and when I find Him I am satisfied. The next day, I am more hungry for Him than the day before yet when I seek and find, yet again I am too full to move. Soaking in this Word daily only fuels the fire of my desire to spread His gospel. I want to make His name known among the nations and to those around me who have yet to believe in Him. Bottom line: I have something amazing that I am not letting go of, but I will share it with anyone and everyone. Life seems mediocre apart from Christ because it is. I am no longer in fear of the gospel. I no longer avoid the word “gospel” or “Great Commission,” or “witness.” I seek opportunities to make disciples. I want to love God since He has loved me so much. In order for me to do that, I must obey Him. How joyous it is to obey and love the Father.

So, all of that said, I have come to a simple conclusion as to why most professing Christians will not share the gospel. If you have no desire whatsoever to share the gospel, I would seriously question whether or not you truly believe in Him. Your eyes are still blinded as mine were. Examine yourself and think, “Am I following Christ?” Think, “Do my actions show that I truly believe this?” Honestly, if you believe it, you will share it. It is too powerful and fulfilling not to share. If you are a Christ-follower, you will share His gospel. If you are not a Christ-follower, you will not share His gospel. With confidence I can make that statement. So, what holds us back? Lack of faith. No Belief. Blindness. Open your eyes and seek God. Allow Him to reveal His glory to you through the face of His Son Jesus Christ. Meet the Jesus of the Bible. Run to the cross into His warm, loving embrace. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. Surrender all to Him and just see what happens. If you are a professing Christian, I want to encourage you to continue sharing His gospel and spreading His glory wherever you are in life. Join me in making His glory known in all the earth. He is worthy! Do not be held back by no faith, no belief, and blindness. Be set free by the saving power of Christ Jesus and believe in Him for eternal life. Let your faith be evident in your life through your good deeds. Die to yourself. Live for Him. Make His glory known. I was lost, but He found me. Admit you are lost, He will seek & find you! My life after my encounter with Jesus Christ has been desired to be lived as such: Mathew Gilbert – a true disciple of Jesus Christ forever on mission to make His name and glory known!

“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4-6

By His Grace,

Mat G.


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