I have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be.
My excuse for not sharing my faith with "just anyone" is that I'm not confident enough in my knowledge of the Bible.
I know parables and key passages but I feel like I don't know enough.
What if the person I'm trying to witness to asks me a legalistic question about the way Christians live?
I don't have all the answers.
I'm afraid that if I sound like an idiot and don't know what I'm talking about then that person will turn their back on a relationship with Jesus.
All because I didn't represent well enough.
Am I crazy?
I feel a huge burden on my shoulders should anyone be turned off from Jesus because I don't have it all together.
It's obvious that I don't have much faith in myself.
But what about God?
Why do I have so little faith in Him?
Why don't I trust that He'll give me the words to say?
I try to do too much on my own and don't lean on him enough.
Jesus commanded us to "Go and make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:19 NIV).
Not "Go and study the scripture as best as you can or better yet memorize it word for word and be sure you know it by heart and have a firm grasp on the context before you even think about approaching anyone to speak about your faith."
Of course it's important to have an accurate understanding of scripture but I shouldn't get all tangled up in the legality of it all. I let it hold me back. I absorb as much as I can but I'm hesitant to lead, to share, to stand up and get involved.
I feel like I'm just not "there" yet. As though I'm not good enough yet to represent God's Kingdom.
The other night I was at a women's group at a church that I don't attend. The vibe was different than what I'm used to and expected, given what I knew about the speakers. I started to focus on how the worship made me feel, how the message moved me, how comfortable I felt.
It was all me me me me me me.
I honestly don't really remember specifically what was said but I remember thinking about how it all felt so different from what I was prepared for. Then God spoke to me and asked, "What about Me?"
These past few weeks I've started to feel distant from God. I would pray and ask Him to stay near to me, let me feel His presence and hear His voice. I wanted to have the closeness we shared when I first started college.
But that night He was really clear- it's time to grow up, Vanessa.
It's not about how I feel and how having a relationship with God affects me and my every day life.
It's what I do with this relationship that counts.
It's not about Him making me feel better about my life.
It's about how I'm serving Him.
God told me that I'm a contributing member of my community but am I contributing to His Kingdom?
I've been so concerned about what I'm getting out of my relationship with Him that I haven't been focusing on my duty to serve.
If closeness is what I desire and I'm yearning for more of Him, then I need to put myself out there and serve others, in His honor and glory.
I guess I expected it to work the same way when I was in college. Read my Bible every day, listen to worship music, pray. But just because God did something one way before doesn't mean He'll do it again. I tend to put Him in a box and God just doesn't work that way.
He has placed a few things on my heart that are in the works. I'm trying my best not to get caught up in the details.
I'm closing my eyes, taking a deep breath, and making the leap of faith.