In a world that’s becoming increasingly hostile to the Gospel, how do we fulfill the Great Commission to share our faith and make disciples, especially in places where it may be restricted? For some Christians, this task may seem daunting, paralyzing or impossible. What do we do? Do we give up? Do we defiantly disregard the rules placed upon us and share anyway?
As Believers, we are called to follow God’s laws over man’s laws even at great cost; however, we are also given the responsibility to exercise wisdom and good judgment when facing scenarios in which sharing our faith is restricted (Acts 5:29; Ephesians 5:15-16). You could disregard the rules; but in many instances, this may not be the wisest option. In some instances, disobedience may be necessary, and should be used as a last resort (Acts 5:29). In other situations, you must weigh the degree and necessity of actions which may cause you to lose access to the people to whom God called you to minister. We must always do what is right, but we must also ask who will reach the lost if we’re not there as His testimony and witness.
The Power of a Transformed Life
One key way to share the Gospel in our workplaces or other places where we may face restrictions is through transformed lives. Actions almost always impact people more strongly than words. The words we speak may tell people who we are and what we think, but our actions tell people what we believe and Who’s we are. When others see how we live, it should cause them to wonder why we live that way and for whom we live.
A Changed Heart Begins with a Renewed Mind
Before we can live in a way that reflects Jesus, our lives must be transformed from the inside-out. This means our minds must be renewed, and Jesus must drive our new motives and mindsets (Romans 12:2). A renewed mind means we change our ways of thinking, hoping, believing, and trusting. We have new perspectives, new motives, and allow His will to become ours. It means we choose to let go of the attitudes that once controlled our thought life and drove our motives without God (Romans 6:6). As with salvation, once we have renewed minds, we act out what we believe in our hearts (Romans 10:9-10). What we act out should be evidence of the motives of our hearts and what we believe.
Evidence of a Transformed Life
The Scriptures place a high emphasis on our lives as a powerful witnessing tool and declaration of what we believe (James 2:17-18):
- Our thoughts and attitudes change to reflect His Spirit within us. – 1 John 3:5-6
- We produce the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. – Galatians 5:22-23
- People will know we are Jesus’s followers because of our great love for each other. – John 13:35
- Our eyes reflect His light of purity and righteousness within us. – Luke 11:34
- We chose mercy over judgment even when the world claims we have a right to be justly unmerciful. – James 2:13
- We speak the truth and mean what we say. – 1 John 3:18-19
- We “do what is right” when faced with tough moral choices. – 1 John 2:29
- We keep God’s commandments. – 1 John 2:3-5
I’ve often found that when you exhibit facets of the character of God through the fruit of the Spirit, other people notice. I don’t say this pridefully. After all, it’s not me whom they see. It’s Him. If we live our lives in a way that reflects who He is, other people will be drawn to His attractive nature within us. Questions like: “Why is there something different about you?”, “Why do you live that way?”, and “How can you forgive when I never could in your situation?” are open doors to share the Gospel with others.
May God use your life as such a powerful testimony of His love, mercy and grace that people are drawn to the Light you carry. May they also see the radiance and genuine expression of grace and mercy that clearly reflects the evidence of a transformed life. In many ways, this is the call of the In-Place Missionary — which is you!