Are You Still Holding Back? Why???

Hold onto Jesus

I’ve tried to hold many treasures

They just keep slipping through my fingers like sand

But there’s one treasure that means more than breath itself

So I’m clinging to it with everything I am

I will hold on to the hand of my Savior

And I will hold on with all my might

I will hold loosely to things that are fleeting

And hold on to Jesus for life

Hold on to Jesus, Steven Curtis Chapman & James Isaac Elliot, from Signs of Life, 1996.

Actually, I know why some of you are still holding back.  In a word: fear.

  • You’re afraid of what your spouse (or other family members) might think of you if you make a public confession of faith in Jesus.
  • You’re afraid that you might lose credibility if your colleagues knew that you’re a Christian.
  • You’re afraid that you might lose your job if your faith became public knowledge.
  • You’re afraid that you might lose your friends if they knew you were a Christian.
  • You’re afraid that if you fully surrender to God, He’ll tell you to do something crazy, like sell all your possessions and give all your money to the poor.
  • You’re afraid that God might call you as a missionary to some disease-infested jungle.

And I’m not going to sugar-coat it: all of these fears are possibilities—and there are even worse possibilities that I haven’t named.  But life is full of dangers and risks.  Life is dangerous and fraught with so many perils, right from the moment of your conception.  If you’re reading this, then your mother chose not to abort you.  But many millions of babies worldwide are never born just because their mothers chose to terminate the pregnancy.  So already you’re the recipient of an amazing blessing: life.

None of us is given a guarantee that we will still be alive at the end of the day.  Worldometer’s Population clock has 68,972 deaths worldwide so far today, and it’s only 10:30 in the morning—in Italy that is—but the website is a US creation, so it’s 4:30 in the morning on the east coast of the US, and already there are already nearly 70,000 deaths so far today.  That’s 70,000 out of an estimated 7 Billion, but still, with that many deaths, there is certainly no reason to believe that you’ll be one of the survivors at the end of the day.  All it takes is one drunk driver or negligent mechanic or demonized nutcase, and you could be spending tonight on a slab instead of a bed.

That’s not to bring you down, but just to show that life is full of hazards, whether you’re a Christian or not.  The difference is that if you’re a Christian, you won’t have to go through life’s perils and troubles alone.  Christians have the same troubles as non-Christians.  But the difference is that we don’t walk through those things alone.

  • Your spouse (and maybe your whole family) might think you’ve lost your mind. But God can help you live out a faith-filled life before their eyes that will convince them far more than your words ever could.
  • Your colleagues might have their doubts about you. But God can make you stand out to them as a beacon when they are going through tough times and need help.
  • You might lose your job because of your faith. But God has something much better in mind for you—and it will satisfy and fulfil you like you had never imagined.
  • You might lose your friends because of your faith. But God will replace them in your life with people who really love you, encourage you, and stand by you through life’s trials.
  • If you surrender to God, He might tell you to sell all your possessions and give all the money to the poor. In fact, you should be prepared for that possibility.  If He does, then He will show you the treasure of people He wants you to love.  (One of the most amazing people I’ve ever met is Shane Claiborne.  He surrendered it all to God, lives with and loves the poor of Philadelphia, but he’s worked with Mother Teresa of Calcutta and really all over the world.  Does Shane regret surrendering to God?  No!)
  • If you surrender to God, He might call you as a missionary. This world desperately needs missionaries.  But not only in the disease-infested jungles.  God called me as a city missionary.  God won’t call you to a place that you hate without giving you His love for that place.  But most likely, He will call you to a place that you already love.  Europe filled my dreams and imagination decades before God called me here.  He usually prepares missionaries like that.

If you want to see God work in supernatural ways, with healings, signs, and wonders, then stop holding back.  Surrender your life completely to Him.  You won’t regret it!  God is good!  You’ll see!

plovdiv arena

Do you think you’ll be fed to the lions?  Probably not!

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