There was a time when I was all talk. I would praise God…only when I was by myself or with someone else of faith. But when it came time to profess my love of God to the world, to people of all kinds of belief, I would falter and “hide” from the truth so they didn’t think I was some kind of “bible thumper.” I cared too much about how people might take me rather than focussing on my faith and being proud of what I believed. This Christian cowardice had the effect on me where I succumbed to temptation by not being strong and true in my belief of God. John wrote, in his first letter, that focussing on the world rather than God, my heart was not accepting His love. Not accepting His love meant that I wasn’t demonstrating the love of others as I was expected to.
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world.
Since my glorious day of epiphany, I have been strong and steadfast. No longer am I a shrinking violet when discussing my faith and my love of my Lord. No one, many have tried, but no one has been able to shake me one bit from my conviction. When challenged, I have no fear of having a debate with anyone. (Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the smartest guy out there, so I have to make sure I don’t get in over my head, intellectually.) It’s much like the verse from Timothy:
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.
I just needed to open my eyes and recognize that God was offering me the gifts Timothy wrote about, but I wasn’t accepting them. But then…epiphany. You know the rest.
I wish I could describe what actually happened that March, 2012 day. It honestly felt like a blindfold was removed and my vision became clear…which allowed me to understand. Of course, it was God’s grace that helped me, literally, see the light. It was God’s grace that helped me finally grasp His plan/intentions.
I avoid being critical of anyone…I just don’t like it. However, when it comes to sharing my faith, it is impossible to sway me from my relationship with my Lord. With all humility, I am more courages than I’ve ever been. I’m eternally proud to be a soldier of Christ.