Philemon 6: I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
There is much about living in the kingdom of God that people can’t experience, or even concretely know about, unless they are active in sharing their faith with others. The sad thing is, today the VAST majority of those in churches in America have never shared their faith with anyone, and most of those who have, have not actually done it in years. Most of those have no concrete plans to share their faith with anyone in the immediate future, either. Some of them suppose that if God drops an opportunity in their laps that they will quickly respond, but the sad truth is that they blindly drive or walk past a dozen of those opportunities every day. And, since they don’t actively PLAN to share their faith today, they don’t even see them!
People who plan to share their faith each day DO share their faith each day. And those people experience things that people who are not active in sharing their faith simply cannot. They experience God’s power each time they speak to someone about Jesus. They get to see the instantaneous transformation that God makes in a life first-hand. They get to hear God’s voice consistently, and feel His leading continually as He guides them to each person whose hearts He has been working in. They get to walk in God’s power and presence, and they get to see their world transformed one heart at a time.
None of these blessings can be experienced by people who do not actively share their faith. And I’m not talking about “living a good life” and hoping that someone notices and “asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) The context of that verse, which many mistake for the great commission, is not sharing the gospel, but testifying under persecution. The real commission to God’s people is not that, but “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) God does not give the power of His Spirit to those who sit on the sidelines (who don’t actually need His power to do that), but only to those who are actively engaged in the mission. He does not perform miracles for those who watch, but for those who are fighting on the front lines. He does not speak to those who are comfortable in their pews, but to those who are engaged in the battle to save souls, and who actually need His guidance.
To those who long for God’s presence, His power, and His guidance, we will never experience them through mere devotional practices, or by self-discipline. But all of them are continually experienced by those who are actively engaged in sharing their faith.
Father, your word is crystal clear, and easily verified through experience, my own included. Those times when I experience Your presence and power are those times when I am actively engaged in sharing my faith, on the stretch for souls. Those times when I get involved in other things to the detriment of reaching people with the good news, Your voice becomes faint and muffled in my ears, and Your power fades quickly. Help me to always be actively involved in the real work of the kingdom, so that I can truly experience every good thing we have in Christ. Amen.