As I’ve been saying in recent blogs, every leader, every believer, has a 24/7 calling to share Jesus with others. When we don’t talk with others about Him—which is more frequent than we’d like to admit—we often blame it on not feeling led. Let’s press into this concept of “feeling led.”
Of course, being led by the Spirit is biblical. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” We rightly strive to follow the Spirit’s leading and live in concert with our Father’s will. But I wonder if we wrongly categorize our gospel-sharing reluctance as “not feeling led.”
Two Times I Blamed My Reluctance On “Not Feeling Led”
- I felt a tinge of excitement as I drove to the grocery store. I’d had a meaningful encounter with a cashier the week before, and hoped for another opportunity. As I wheeled my groceries into an open check-out line, I sized up the young cashier. Hmmm… he looks shy, I thought to myself. He probably wouldn’t be open to talking. And sadly, that was it. That was as far as I went in my thoughts. And my prayers. I just stood there, zoned out because of my own assumptions. I’m not condemning myself; just admitting that I had decided I wasn’t led, when actually I wasn’t willing.
- Same thing at McDonald’s the following week. I took my Bible along for some mid-day inspiration during lunch. Two tables away, an elderly man sat nursing a cup of coffee. It seemed like he’d been there all day. Taking in the comings and goings of the busy people. Looking lonely. I thought of him several times throughout my short stay. I imagined what I might say to him. I prayed about what I might say. But I walked out, giving him a pleasant smile and a hello. Ugh. I think he could’ve used much more than that. But, I didn’t “feel led.”
I heard a speaker say, in a tongue-in-cheek, yet convicting way: “If you need to feel led before you talk to someone about Jesus, just put a lead sinker from a fishing line in your pocket. That way, when you’re deciding whether or not to approach them, you can reach into your pocket and feel lead! And then go ahead and talk with the person!”
God Already Expressed His Will
GO into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15).
DECLARE His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people (Ps. 96:3).
MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations (Mt. 28:19).
Yes, we want to be led by the Spirit. And yes, we want to obey the scriptural mandates to share the gospel. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stand before the Father and say, “I know You said, ‘Go, declare, and make disciples,’ but 99% of the time I just didn’t feel led. So I didn’t.”
“Father, stir our hearts, give us Your passion for the gospel and Your compassion for people. We pray with Paul that you would give us words as we open our mouths to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel as we should. Based on what You’ve already said, Father, we do feel led to share Your gospel with others.”