(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 4)
It is not possible, in my view, to have genuine relationship with Jesus and yet be able to compartmentalize him into only certain areas of your life but not others. If you truly have Jesus in your heart, then He pervades ALL of you, no matter where you are, be it at work, at play, in Timbatu (wherever that is) or on social media.
This is because of two (2) main reasons.
FIRSTLY, If you truly received Him as Lord and Saviour in faith, then He lives in you and is working out His purposes in your life.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 states:
- “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
Given that His Spirit is in you and is working in you, you will feel compelled to talk about Him and to showcase Him as you go on your journey because there is nowhere you can go that He is not with you. For, He has promised to never leave those that are His or to forsake them.
Given that He is Lord, He cannot be living in you and be content to remain hidden. If He is truly in you and you try to keep him hidden by remaining silent, you will find that there is a burning within, almost like you are about to explode because you have something valuable within you, the light of the gospel, that was never meant to just stay there, dormant.
I have experienced this and whether what I have to say is welcomed or not, I still feel COMPELLED to say it. I simply CANNOT, stay quiet, even if it means that feathers will be ruffled and people will unfollow me on social media and frown at me with disapproval.
This is much like the prophet Jeremiah experienced in Jeremiah 20:9, when he tried to say nothing about the Lord. He said:
- “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. BUT HIS WORD WAS IN MINE HEART AS A BURNING FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
David spoke of a similar experience. In Psalm 39:1- 3 he stated:
- “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. MY HEART WAS HOT WITHIN ME, WHILE I WAS MUSING THE FIRE BURNED: then spake I with my tongue…”
It is as Jesus described when He said in John 4:14: “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but THE WATER THAT I SHALL GIVE HIM SHALL BE IN HIM A WELL OF WATER SPRINGING UP INTO EVERLASTING LIFE.”
As John the Baptist declared, He (Jesus) must increase and we must decrease. That is the purpose of his Spirit indwelling our lives. He can never be content to just sit within us while we do our thing. He wants to have the preeminence. He wants to take over and once we submit, this is exactly what He does. This is why the Bible makes it clear that Christians have died to self but are alive in Christ.
As Paul commented in Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
When He (Jesus) is within you, wherever you go, He goes with you. You will therefore feel compelled to promote HIS glory and to outpour what he has poured in. You will not have a moment’s rest until you offload it, (it can feel heavy) for the edification of other fellow believers and the benefit of those not yet saved in the world.
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus told his disciples:
- “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill CANNOT be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
SECONDLY because He is not a God that just lives in you but does so much for those He lives within, His goodness will constrain you (voluntarily), to tell others about Him.
You will feel like you simply must let others know what he brought you through, where he delivered you from, how he bestowed undeserved mercy and grace upon you and how he saved you. For, what he has done for you leaves you with such gratitude, that you willingly, joyously and eagerly want to share the good news about Him and your experiences (testimonies) that demonstrate his Lordship with others.
For years I’ve wondered why it was so hard for me to just shut up, even when people clearly did not want to hear what I had to say. I would call people up and tell them about what he did for me or write about him on my personal Facebook page. There was also hardly any conversation that I would have in which his name did not make an appearance. Yet, the more I talked, the more people seemed not to want to hear. Yet, despite people clearly wanting me to be silent because they clearly did not like my message, I found that I could not. Was it that I liked being unpopular? Why couldn’t I just go with the flow and not talk about him?
I then realized that, once Jesus, who is alive is within you and you truly desire His purpose for your life, it is impossible to shut up.
I therefore ask that you please bear with me. I just can’t stop.
To best explain how I feel, take a listen to the song: ‘CAN’T STOP PRAISING HIS NAME’ by Ron Kenoly on YouTube.
(Written on 20th January, 2020)