Have you ever been scared to share your faith? I know I have. Well, that’s what we are going to be talking about in this episode. Our guest today is Ashley. She became a Christian not very long ago, and some of her closest friends don’t know about it and don’t know she was baptized.
It is a huge life change to accept Christ and become a Christian. So, how does she even bring it up to her family and friends? We’re going to delve into that today and ask Ashley’s peers to weigh in and give their best advice. But first, let’s hear from Ashley.
I Haven’t Told My Friends I’m Saved and Baptized
I just recently started going to church. It’s strange, but I just had this feeling that I needed to go. I went to church and the people there were very loving and open. It was very scary, but it was amazing. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
About a month after I was going, I was attending these classes and going to Sunday school… another feeling I had one day when they had the invitation to come up, I was like, I got to go up there right now. [I accepted Christ!]
So, I’m very new to this, and I don’t know a lot. Obviously, I hadn't read the Bible before. I still haven’t read the whole thing. But I hear a lot of the time when I'm in Sunday school and in the classes, I’m taking that we’re supposed to share our faith and confess it. And tell everyone is basically what I hear. And I don't know enough to know where that comes from, but I know that it's said a lot. And my life before was very different. The people I was around, my friends, I know how they feel about faith and God, and they're not very open to it. Now, I’ve made friends since I’ve been baptized. I have a lot of friends in the church. But nobody knows that I was baptized. I haven’t been telling people and I feel like I’m doing something wrong…like I should be going out there and just saying it, but I’ve got strong anxiety against it and fear.
I've never felt this way before ever. And I do want to share it. I want everybody to know, because I want them to also be able to feel this way, but it’s nerve-wracking.
If God, in His grace did this miracle for you to get saved, why would he not also in his grace help you to talk to others about Christ? The first three words you say to a non-Christian are yours, the rest are God's. You don't have to explain the whole Bible, you just have to tell what happened to you. I know you can do that cause you just did. You don't have to be a theologian to do this. You just let them know what you know. I'm just getting started here because I really think that you need to listen and hear from others to encourage you about this.
Peer to Peer Advice For Ashley:
Ruth, Nick, Nicole, Nancy, and Jace have called in with encouragement and advice for Ashley. Stay tuned to hear what they have to say.
Your Friends Will See a Change in You - Ruth
I was raised in the church. My grandmother went all around the world, preaching the gospel. She's the type of person who could walk up to anybody and tell them about God. And it worked for her. And then you hear the people who say, “Oh, God, bless you. Do you know, if you died today, would you make it to heaven?” …preaching like that. That's not for everybody. And maybe for her, it's just for her to change; especially if she grew up around people who weren't in church. They're going to see a change in her and they're going to ask her what's going on and she can tell them. And the other thing is when you fall in love with Jesus, her best friend, who she loves, she's going to want to tell her eventually. Maybe it's not going to be tonight or tomorrow, but if she keeps praying and asking God for courage, he's going to give that to her if He knows that's what she wants. When he knows she wants to win souls for him, he's going to give it to her. So, I really don't think she should feel bad or anything.
She should surround herself with people who love on her and are good Christians, but otherwise she's just got to wait and keep praying. And her other friends are going to ask her about how she’s changed and then she can tell him if that's how she wants to do it.
Well, she can, she could say to her friends, you and I have been friends for a long time, and I have something that's really real to me and intimate to me that I want to, as a friend, share with you. She's earned that right. What they do with the information is between them and God. We witness in the power of the holy spirit and leave the results to God.
She could even just invite them to church, something as simple as that.
A True Friend Will Support You - Nick
Hey Ashley, I know we all had different personalities and when we get saved, we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, everyone in their own time, their own pace. But one thing I would say besides that, so just give it time. You draw close to the Lord; you stay faithful to the Lord. You go to church, do the things that you ought to do, and you need to do. God will give you the strength and the grace to do what you need to do with your friends. But what I would also say is that somebody that's a true friend will want to support you, whether they want to be involved or not. They'll support you in things that are important to you. If they don't, then they are not a friend.
Just because she thinks they're friends, they may not really be true friends. They may be partying friends or just godless friends, and she's going to lose some friends.
Are they really your friend then? Right. We're praying for you. God Bless!
Don’t Be Fearful, Be Bold - Nicole
I am just so encouraged by Ashley and her desire to share the gospel with people that she loves and that are in her world and in her life. And I just want to encourage you, Ashley. The Bible talks about us overcoming by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony and your testimony alone holds the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I just really believe that, whether you've been saved 5 days or 50 years, sometimes it can be hard to share the gospel with people because you're fearful of what they may think or how they may respond.
Just to share a quick story with you, I had a friend pass away recently in a car accident and I went home for the funeral. Before I went home, I was just really talking to the Lord about it. It just really shook me and my entire friend circle from back home, my high school friends. I haven't seen them in years.
The Lord said, “Nicole, I'm going to have you share the gospel with your friends and I want you to be ready.”
And I said, “Lord, I just don't. I don't know if I can do it. It's just such a real time for these people. I don't know if I can do it.”
And I heard the Lord say, “Nicole, This life is not even close to the reality that eternity is. And these people, if they died tomorrow in their sin will meet me and they will be spending eternity in heaven or hell, separated from me or with me. And I'm asking you with boldness to go and share the gospel with these people, with your friends, who you love.”
And it just really shined a light on me. And I just want to encourage you that when you're telling people about Jesus and love, another thing God told me is…
I said, “Lord, but what if they don't receive it?”
And he said to me, “Nicole, I didn't call you to worry or carry the burden about whether they receive it or not. I told you to speak truth and love.”
And I was just like, “Whoa.”
He said, “It's not your responsibility if they receive it or not. Leave that to me. You're being led by my spirit.”
And I saw God move in this moment around this bonfire. And people came up to me afterward and it really touched them. And so, I want to encourage you - don't be fearful, be bold! And I know that's easier said than done. We all can deal with fear sometimes in sharing the gospel. But God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind, and you are just so on fire for God. I know that you're so hungry to share the gospel with people. So, I just pray for fearlessness and boldness to come upon you and for God to lead you with his Holy Spirit. So, bless you.
God Will Guide You on What to Say - Nancy
I was in the same predicament as you are Ashley. I was in a foreign country. I was a foreign student in a foreign country, and I did not know anything about being a Christian or the word, or anything. But when my twin sister gave me the word, she had been saved a week before me and I didn't know anything. Then at that moment, I realized that I was lost without making that decision for Christ. So, I accepted him. And one of the things that I started learning was baby steps, baby steps.
I kept the word close to me. So, every time I had a question, I would read the word and the words would just pop out of the Bible and quench my heart. The first thing that I noticed is that the Lord said to me, “Even your father and mother will forsake you or anybody for my name. I'm with you always. I will never forsake you.” That's the first lesson that he taught me.
The second lesson was that God will give you the appointed time and appointed words to say whenever you have to say something to someone that you dearly love, or have next to you? You don't have to search for the words, God, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say and how to say it.
And it's been a thrill knowing Christ. I've been with him for 34 years now, and it's always been a thrill and a blessing. And no matter what happens, know that he's always with you… always, no matter what. He doesn't change. He's always with you, come high or come low. He’ll always be with you, and he'll guide you. He'll let you know how to say things and what to do.
Every Christian Struggles with Fear - Jace
Ashley, I had two points and one was when I was seven years old. I lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and my mom had me at a young age and stuff, so she was out doing what she needed to do. And I had no direction, and I was being bullied by some gang members at one point, well teenagers that were gang members. And it was actually funny because I ran into the church, because I knew they would never go in there. And I ran in the middle of a sermon, and right then and there, the preacher was talking about Jeremiah 29:11, “For I have plans for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future.” And I started telling the pastor what was happening and that's kind of how I came to God.
Dawson: Wait, now that's a story all by itself, running from a gang that was bullying you and chasing you. And you ran into a church and ran into Jesus. He ran into you.
Nobody's 100% knowledgeable of the Bible, but verses Jeremiah 29:11 and also Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Every Christian has a struggle with fear, it's one of Satan's most powerful tools. And Satan's going to do whatever he can do to try to steer you away. He's going to make you fear. He's going to try and take friends away from you, which I've lost plenty of friends. But if you stay true to Jesus. Also, in the book of Job, Job lost a lot too. But God gave it back to him and more. So, God's always there for you. Always trust in him, pray to him first and stay in that word, and that's how you're going to get through it.
A Prayer for Ashley
Thank you for Ashley, her simple faith, her story, Lord, how you just drew her to yourself. You are a holy magnet, and you draw people to yourself. Thank you that you did that for Ashley and that she's not going back.
She sees the patheticness of her friends' lives, the emptiness, as they marched lockstep to hell. Give her the courage and strength and the wisdom to be bold, Lord. Paul, the great evangelist pleaded with people to pray that he would be bold.
Help Ashley to be bold, to realize she's growing. Set up more divine appointments for her like you did tonight for our show. Only this time there'll be divine appointments with people who were a lot like her, lost as can be, but found in Christ.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
God’s Got You, Ashley
Praise God, what an awesome prayer! Ashley just thanked you guys, but I want to thank you too….Ruth, Nick, Nicole, Nancy, and Jace, our peer-to-peer callers. We are humbled and thrilled at your encouragement for Ashley.
I love the scriptures Jace shared. From Philippians 4:13, Ashley, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” I also want to share 1 Peter 3:15 from The Message, “Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost curtesy.”
As you live your life for Christ, people will see the difference. You can share the hope in Christ you have without preaching or having a sermon ready. You can share God’s love in so many ways… by your example, by being a servant, as Ruth said, by just inviting them to church, and also being there to listen when your friends need you. God opens up opportunities to talk with people about how you have lasting hope, strength and peace from Him.
If you are listening and want to know more about having the peace of God and accepting Him as your Lord and Savior, chat with us. Our Hope Coaches are available every day from 8am – 1am. Chat with us, by just going to: TheHopeLine.com.
Thank you for listening and being a part of this podcast. Take care and remember, God’s got you…you just need to trust him!
Other Related Podcast Episodes:
Resources on Relationships:
- 18 Bible Verses About Fear – Help When You Feel Afraid
- A Prayer When Struggling with Fear
- Learn More About God
Need to talk to someone? Chat with a Hope Coach at TheHopeLine.
This is the Dawson McAllister Podcast, and until next time…Remember you are loved, you are valuable, and God has an amazing plan for your life. – Rachel