‘I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.’ Philemon 6
So often what puts us off getting more involved in church or causes us to shy away from being a little bolder in our faith is that we do not feel confident enough. It may be that we do not feel that we have enough of God with us or that we do not know enough about Jesus to share confidently.
If you ever feel like this then this verse is fascinating. It is trying to convey to us that we get it the wrong way round! It is not a matter of waiting until we are confident or until we know enough that will make the difference – when will that ever be anyway? Rather, it is as we take the plunge and step out that our understanding grows.
This is what makes faith come alive. Sometimes we do recognise our own abilities to speak out or undertake a particular task, but much of the time we feel quite inadequate. The reason for doing something in the name of Jesus is because we hold on to the belief that somehow his presence is dwelling within us and that as we step out in his name, something of his presence will flow naturally.
If we knew for certain what would happen when we step out, we would all probably do far more for God. What this verse says is: ‘Do it anyway, and then you will begin to see God at work.’
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission