It’s Not About You!
by Pastor George Van Alstine
Most Christians seem to shrink from the idea that the Lord expects them to be his witnesses in this world. They know God wants to get out the word about his offer of forgiveness and salvation, and they realize that his way of doing this is through the personal testimonies of believers, but they themselves don’t feel called, or capable, or worthy of witnessing.
In this attitude they have the company of one of the most famous witnesses we read about in the Bible: MOSES. God chose Moses to be his chief spokesperson, first to the enslaved Israelites with a message of hope and deliverance, then to the great awe-inspiring Pharaoh of Egypt with the challenge “Let my people go!” But Moses repeatedly argued that he was not the man for the job, responding first with, ”Why me?” (Exodus 3:11), then “What if they question my authority?” (verse 13), then “What if they still don’t believe me?” (chapter 4, verse 1), then “I’m not good with words” (verse 10), and finally “Please send someone else” (verse 13). The Lord brushed off all his excuses and transformed Moses into one of the heroes of our faith history.
The crucial factor that Moses had been missing was this: Witnessing was not about Moses, but about God. His initial question had been “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11). God said, “My name is I AM; tell them I AM has sent you” (3:14). Essentially, he was saying, “It’s not about who you are; it’s about who I am.”
Self-conscious witnesses of every generation since Moses’ time have shrunk from their calling by pleading “Who am I?” By contrast, God-conscious witnesses have found their sense of personal unworthiness inundated by the greater fact of who God is, the great I AM.”
At one point in his ministry, Jesus was “moved with compassion” on the multitudes of lost souls he had been encountering, as he taught and preached village by village (Matthew 9:35-36). He said to his disciples: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (verse 38). Then, in the very next verse by Matthew’s account, Jesus sent out the disciples themselves to be the answer to the prayer he had just asked them to pray (chapter 10:1 ff.).
Most believers today feel much of Jesus’ compassion for the lost people around them, and we obey his urging to pray that the Lord will send workers into the harvest field. But we don’t seem to hear his follow-up call, “You go; you be the worker; you be the witness.”
Me? I can’t talk. I don’t know the Bible very well. My Christian life is kind of inconsistent. I’d for sure mess it up.
The Lord patiently reminds each of us: “It’s not about you; it never has been. Witnessing is not about who you are. It’s about who I AM.”