Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to say just the right words, or you were going to be in trouble? Have there been times when you were asked to give a report, or to share a testimony, or to explain how a procedure needed to be done, and you were on edge? Have you been called on in class to stand and explain something from the text book, or something that has been taught, and your palms started sweating? I think all of us have been in a situation where we were nervous, because it was our turn to step up and speak out.
I remember going to the local mall with our youth leader every Friday night during my junior year in High School. We went there to hand out tracts, and to be a witness for Christ. Back when I was a teenager, it was not illegal in the United States to hand out tracts in the mall. I can remember going to that mall every Friday night for the entire year. Every time, I was along to hold the extra tracts and to look friendly. My youth worker, Gordon, always did the talking. I can still remember the night he turned to me in the car, and said, “Tonight you’re going to do the talking.” My heart froze solid … I began to rehearse in my mind what I was supposed to say. I started trying to think of all the verses I would need to defend my faith against re-incarnation and the like.
Today I read a great verse that we all ought to pray as we anticipate opportunities to share our faith. Psalm 119:42 says, “So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.” The answer we need to have is not some well-rehearsed lines as if we were practicing for the school play. The answer we need will not come from our reservoir of knowledge gained throughout our lifetime. The answer we will need should not come from our own wisdom or ability to formulate an answer. The answer we give ought to come from what we have learned and incorporated into our own lives, from the Word of God. One of the reasons I encourage you on a regular basis to read your Bible, is so that you will have an answer for those who so desperately need to know our Savior, when the opportunity presents itself. You see, this psalmist understood that his words would not be enough. He needed the Word of God to be in his heart so that the answer he would give had the Divine touch. I am reminded by the Old Testament prophet, Zechariah, that it will not be my strength, or my wisdom that touches the hearts of people; but God’s work will be accomplished in me through the touch of the Holy Spirit in me. I will depend on the Holy Spirit to give the right words to me today.