Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Shut Up, For Christ's Sake!
Yes, they were. But He gave the instruction to testify as His last direction, not His first.
And what is witnessing, anyway? God tells us:
You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, and my servants from whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He.--Isaiah 43:10
Hmm. Nothing about saying anything to anyone.
Witnessing, in God's estimation, begins with knowing and believing and understanding. Evidently that, at least initially, is enough. Even the outspoken apostle Paul began with years of silent study and communion with other believers and the Lord Himself before he ever went anywhere or said anything to anybody.
Witnessing has a pre-requisite. In other words, we have to be qualified before we intentionally speak about God. Unless He is putting words in our mouths similar to the way He put them in Balaam's donkey's, then we are well advised to spend the time getting to know our subject matter, that is, Him, before opening our mouths.
There is a reason for this, and I am learning it every day. God is so darned BIG! There is so much to know about Him, so much He has to show me, to teach me, to change in me. Yes, there are times to speak out, but as His joy within me grows, I understand more and more that God is not what He does, which we learn first about, but who He is. To know Him just flat takes time.
And He knows this about me, too. He knows it and is fine with it. Listen:
I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed, and saved, and proclaimed. I, not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses that I AM GOD.--Isaiah 43:11-12
His witnesses that He is God. Yes. There is a time to speak, and boldly, but my witness must start and end with the nature and person of God Himself. And once I fully know that, I will be a witness whether I speak or not.