YOUR MIGHT, MY SPIRIT
Sean is a good friend of mine. In interviewing him for this testimony, I found that despite our seemingly similar, (bland, dare I say) lives, there were still two main things he was able to teach me through his testimony that truly struck me. First is that evangelism isn’t our strong suit. It’s hard, quite gross at times, uncomfortable, and too uncompromising for our liking. Second is that it is precisely because of this hardship – this gross weirdness – that evangelism brings which makes it so compelling and necessary both in our lives and in the lives of others. Through evangelism, God works miracles. And through it, God reveals to us the source of our strength – Him.
Sean’s evangelistic relationship with God began back in elementary school. In Grade 7 he met God on a personal level. It was then he decided to accept Him for good. Moved by the fervor of finally being able to revel in His grace, he then felt a calling from God to disciple his friends. His fervor however was quickly tempered by his friends’ antagonism, coupled with a heavier workload in school. He felt himself growing more and more discouraged and eventually quit sharing the Word to his schoolmates. It’s good to note here that his schoolmates and friends were mostly apathetic to God and Christianity – not that they were hostile to the idea, but that they couldn’t care less. God was oftentimes the farthest things from their minds, and remained there despite Sean’s constant efforts to bring Him to the forefront. This went on for a good chunk of high school.
His desire to disciple his friends, however, was rekindled during the summer before his first year in college. That summer, he was able to attend a discipleship conference. There he remembered God (side note: in our school – especially in the last two years – it is quite common to forget God as our workload gets quite hectic). He himself said that that was the first time he was able to remember God in quite a long while. There, he claims, God spoke to him – further urging on his discipleship of his friends, as it was good, confirming its worth despite the opposition. And as with most testimonies, he did.
Today, he’s back to discipling his classmates, and still remains hopeful that one day, his friends will eventually see the light that is Christ. One has already shown interest in knowing Christ more, praise God.
By this point, you might be asking me the point of all this. It’s a straightforward, boring story, with no real compelling characters. To that, I have no real reply, except to try and end this testimony as swiftly as humanly possible without further adding to your misery. To that regard, I guess if there’s one thing you ought to take away from this testimony, it’s the verses Sean cited that moved him to continue onwards in his journey to disciple others. “Not by might, nor my power, but by my Spirit” (Zech 4:6). “And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”(Nehemiah 6:3).
Point is, it’s not by your strength or by your desire that your self manages to evangelize.
Sean’s problem was that he relied on his own strength and his own desires to disciple others, rather than God’s. He tried to do things on his own without regard for the One who allows or disallows all things to happen – Him. And that’s the idea – all this talk of evangelism, this desire to evangelize – it’s all meaningless unless we learn that it is God’s will that spurs our voices onward. It is His, and not our will that keeps us strengthened in times of discouragement. It is His, and not our will that opens up the hearts of others. It is His, and not our voice that keeps us bold in His faith – that allows us to lead others to Him.
Jedd Ong is from this Earth, but not of it. Words give form to his God-filled, godless world. View his works at http://hellopoetry.com/jedd-ong.
Sean Kendrich Cua is a second year student at the University of the Philippines-Manila. His love for all things biological is only surpassed by his love of all things Godly.