By Charissa Zapata-Walker
I’ve often wondered, “Where do I begin God? Where do I begin telling the best story ever told? How do I begin expressing how deep and profound Your love is? How do I begin telling my story with all its complexities and turns? How do I encourage people to have hope in the one that gave up their one and only, their place, for mine?”
Amazing grace! Amazing love! God’s story is truly extraordinary. Mesmerizing, captivating, curious is the path that leads His story to connect with ours! Personal, intimate, hooked!
I remember hearing a preacher once tell the story of how his mother would pay at the supermarket in coins to give her time to testify to the cashier about Jesus. He mentioned how he would almost be embarrassed and ask his mom why she always did that. She responded by saying, “Jesus has completely changed my life, why wouldn’t I want that for others? How could I not share?!?”
So what is the recipe for sharing the love of God? Let’s take a look!
Love: The two greatest commandments that God gives us is to love Him, and secondly love others as we do ourselves. (Matthew 22:36-40) Everything we do must come from a place of love. Love is what moves oceans, mountains, and hearts. Sharing the love of God with others; how His love has changed you, and how profound His unconditional love is, is really what it is all about!
Shaming, guilting, and condemning people is not what Jesus came to do. He came to heal the sick, not condemn them! He came to save us, not execute us. As His followers we must remember to do the same! To love the way God loves (1 Corinthians 13), to honor and treasure the things that He finds value in. And we, my friends, are the gem of His eyes!
Boldness: This is something I have, and still continue to pray that God gives me. Not just in sharing His story and my testimony, but really in every area that God is asking me to move in or even stay still in. May fear never hold us back. God tells us that His perfect LOVE cast out all fear! (1 John 4:18)
Joy: Love, boldness, and joy are infectious. When you radiate joy, love, and confidence, people will gravitate towards you. People will want what you have! This magnet, the Jesus magnet that shines within you, will draw people to inquire how you can move with so much heart in a world that seems so cold.
Now I’m not saying we don’t have difficult days, that we don’t worry like others do, or that we are somehow immune to anger building up inside of us. But what I am saying is that when you dedicate yourself to God, when you lay at His feet, when you spend time in His presence, time in His WORD, fruit WILL produce. (Galatians 5:22-23) The juicy and tasty fruit of the Spirit. God tells us to focus on His kingdom and His righteousness and everything will be added on to us! (Matthew 6:33)
So many seasons in my life I look back and see how God healed me and mended my heart in areas of my life I was unaware He was working on. It is not until I confronted my past challenges in my new Spirit, that I realize and praised God for how He transformed me!
Humility: Now this is very important. When we speak to people about God, Jesus, spirituality, or their walk in life, it is important to come with a humble heart. We must approach people with love, kindness, empathy, and sincerity.
I often use the boldness that I have prayed for to ask people what their spiritual beliefs are and just actively listen to what they tell me. I often see God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in the midst of their story. But these signals may not always be seen by them as such. By me purely just inquiring on their experiences they realize how many experiences with God they may have already had. And I encourage them to honor and cherish those moments even if they don’t have all the answers or fully believe.
I often then share my own experiences with them and share the ups and downs of my journey and how God’s gracious love has consistently saved me and held me close to Him.
Pray and Listen: This is so key! I often pray for wisdom, knowledge, discernment, understanding, and discretion. In EVERY area of my life. This is especially true when I’m sharing my story and God’s story with someone else.
Just because someone is not a Christian, or does not live a “holy” life does not mean that God does not know them intimately. It doesn’t mean that HE doesn’t long to be in relationship with them! He knows them inside out, and He knows how to reach their hearts. My job as God’s hands and feet is to humble myself and pray for God to guide me on how to reach His children, His beloved.
God may have you give someone a word of knowledge, wisdom, encouragement, or even a prophetic message. Even the simplest words, with the right timing, will unlock that person’s heart to be able to receive the love of God in a new way.
When we allow God to give us guidance, we can trust that He knows best how to deal with the situation. He always has a strategy. And it always works, even if we don’t see the results at that moment! For we must remember that some of us might water the plant, and some of us plant the seed, but God does the growing! (1 Corinthians 3:6) May we allow God to produce growth in our lives, and encourage others to do the same!