My pastor told me that he was on vacation once and he met a gentleman who told him that he did a lot of “street witnessing”. The man explained that he made it a point to regularly share the Gospel of Jesus with the people he encountered. Then he made this statement, “Nothing kills the flesh like street witnessing.” I have found that statement to be very true.
It is very hard to be selfish when you are telling others about Jesus. There are reasons for this. You are not talking about yourSELF, or making the other person feel good by talking about them, but rather you are making the object of the conversation, Jesus. The devil and your flesh (the sinful part of you) don’t like Jesus because He comes destroy Satan’s work, subdue your flesh and awaken your spirit. Thus, the flesh gets upset when you talk about Jesus.
Just this morning I walked into a McDonald’s on my way to a counseling appointment. I had driven for about 45 minutes and needed a potty break! As I stepped into the restaurant, a woman caught my eye and the Holy Spirit whispered, “She is why you are here.” As I went to the restroom, the fight commenced between my flesh and spirit. People might think that it is easy for someone like me to talk about God with people, but it’s not. It is usually a battle. Phrases like, “I don’t want to,” “This will be uncomfortable,” “What if she gets offended,” immediately rush into my mind. That is where I use the truth to combat the lies of the flesh. I respond, “The Gospel is God’s power unto salvation,” and “You love me by obeying my commands.” I remind myself that by faith, something wonderful could happen.
I stepped out of the bathroom and asked about the game she was playing on her computer. Then, sat down. I proceeded to tell her I felt God had prompted me to come talk with her and asked how she was doing. She closed her laptop and shared that her friend was suicidal and she was going to talk with him today. We prayed together for her friend and she was very grateful. She then encouraged me for my boldness!! I don’t get that every time I witness. Then, I found out she had faith in Christ and I encouraged her to give go all the way with Christ and life her whole life for him. As I got up to go, she said, “You made my entire day!”
It is true. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Even after encounters life these, I can feel my flesh gripe and complain. But I encourage myself in the Lord and praise Him for positive encounters. Here’s a couple tips on how to kill the flesh:
- Keep an eternal perspective. The flesh is focused on the temporary. The Spirit is focused on the eternal. When you can step back and remember that you have the ability to introduce someone to the “spring of water welling up to eternal life,” it makes witnessing easier. Your minutes of discomfort could save them from an eternity of discomfort.
- Use Scripture. One of my favorites is Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” We have to remind ourselves that our flesh is good for nothing. Our flesh is what gets us into trouble, the thing that led us into sin and away from Christ in the first place. But now, through Christ, it is dead! Let’s keep it that way through reminding ourselves of Scripture.
- Pray. Pray for opportunities, pray for boldness, pray in the Spirit. Paul asked the Ephesians to “pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel…as I should.” Pray this over yourself, ask your church to pray it over you.
I love how even the Apostle Paul shows us the struggle is real. If witnesses was easy for anyone, surely it was for him. But here he is, saying, “pray for me to keep preaching as I should, it’s not easy to keep denying this flesh, I need your support.”
Kill that flesh and watch God use you in miraculous ways today!