Human beings do not like to give up control. Actually we don’t really control all that much, so it would probably be more accurate to say we don’t like to give up the illusion of control.
I recently began a series of articles on why we fail to share the Gospel with people, centering mainly on the fears that prevent us. I’ve mentioned the fear of failure and the fear of rejection. The third in this non-exhaustive list of fears is the fear of surrender.
When we serve the Lord in any capacity we are surrendering to Him by following His will in our lives to the exclusion of our own. This is especially true when we’re talking about witnessing. When we witness, we’re following God sometimes into conflict, sometimes into hostility, sometimes into ostracization, and sometimes into danger or death.
Sometimes people fail to witness because of the perceived risks involved. They imagine they can protect themselves from the circumstances, but they don’t have faith enough to believe that God can protect them from any possible harm that could come when they follow Him.
In addition to all of this, if we do make the effort, take the risk, and tell someone about Jesus, we’ll have to back it up with our actions. And we’re not sure if we want to do that.
We don’t want the hassle. We don’t want to take the risk. We don’t want to give control to God, and become something or someone different than who we are. We don’t want to give up who we are to become who He wants us to be.
But believers should not say “no” to God. The Christian life, in contrast to the lives of those around us, should be marked by a consistent willingness to surrender to God and submit to His will for our lives. We should be willing to follow Him, and obey Him, regardless of the cost.
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27, NKJV).
So, if we aren’t willing to follow Him (including witnessing) because we’re afraid it will cost us too much, we can’t really call ourselves His disciples. If you find yourself afraid to witness because you’ll lose too much control of your own life, ask yourself which is more important, following Christ or pretending to be in control of your own life.