Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Evangelism with Fear and Trembling???

When you think of "fear and trembling" in evangelism I'm sure you think of being scared of evangelism. That isn't what I'm talking about today but this will alleviate that too! You've probably read Phil.2:12 and wondered about the command to, "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." 1 Jn.4:18 clarifies this, reminding us that love casts out all fear. It is no news to you, but fearing God, for the believer, is not about fear but awe, respect and reverence - seeing God for who He truly is. So what about the "trembling?" Remember Titus was appreciative that the Corinthians received him with "fear and trembling" or awe, respect and "trembling." (2 Cor.7:15). The Corinthians weren't scared of him and even if they were it is unlikely that would have made him glad. The Corinthians respected Titus so much he was "famous" to them. When most people meet someone that is famous they are usually overcome with exhilaration and excitement - sometimes even trembling (remember Beatlesmania??? - See the video below). Being received that way is something Titus would have remembered fondly. God wants us to reverence, respect and have an awe of Him but I think He's even more interested in the "trembling" that will result in. He wants to be famous in our lives. Imagine the dedication and commitment that would result in. What wouldn't those Beatles fans have done for them? That's the whole point of Phil.2:12 - Work with Him in that way as (Phil.2:13) He works in and through you (remember Gal.2:20). Before God will ever be famous in the world He has to be famous in my life. How tragic it is when I see Him as mundane and routine. I desire to love Him so much that the mere opportunity to be with Him and work alongside Him (1 Cor.3:9) will cause "trembling" - an unbridled and fanatical commitment to Him and His work, a willingness to be a fool for Him (1 Cor.4:10). When God is that "famous" in my life I won't be able to stop from sharing Him with this world (Mt.12:34). Fear and trembling is seeing and loving God for who He truly is and as a result being obsessed with knowing, obeying and telling the world about Him.

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