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Witnessophobia

“Yahweh Tsabaoth is with us;

A high stronghold is the God of Jacob. Selah!

(Psalm 46:12 {verse 11 in English })

 

And the psalmist closes with the refrain, repeated from verse 8 (verse 7 in English versions). Though the world might come to an end, the God of Armies is with us. He is our guard and our shelter from the storms of life and the enemies that would seek to do us harm. He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Lord of Hosts. And he is with us.

If we believe these words, why do we struggle so when it comes to engaging the world with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Why do we fear that which cannot threaten or harm us? I, like many, suffer from a fear of heights. Even in a glass elevator, where I am perfectly safe and protected as I am lifted upwards, the fear causes my pulse to rise and my grip on the railing in the elevator to grow very tight. Why? Phobias are irrational fears, and though they affect us in real ways, when you look honestly at them, they are kind of foolish. Why should I fear riding high in the air in a glass elevator? Nothing will harm me! Yet my knees grow weak. It seems that many Christians, while not necessarily suffering from a phobia of heights, suffer from a phobia of sharing their faith. Some jokingly refer to this as “witnessophobia,” but let us speak honestly — it is an irrational fear that stems from a sinful heart and a fear of rejection. Friends, don’t fall into this trap, our God is the Lord of Armies and a high stronghold and he has not given us a spirit of fear but one of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). Why hesitate; go, share the love and truth of Christ Jesus with a friend or neighbor that does not know him so that they too may find refuge in the Lord of all Refuge…Selah!