All children of God are called to be witnesses of the salvation He has provided for the world. There are millions of people inhabiting the globe who are in slavery to sin and need to hear about the way to freedom through Jesus Christ. What often keeps us from sharing this good news? Second Timothy 2 gives four roadblocks that we must overcome in order to have an effective witness.
2 Timothy 2:3 “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
Roadblock #1: When we set out to give testimony to the things God has done for us, we embark on a spiritual war. There is an enemy who wants to keep the truth from those who are his prisoners. Those who are hurting the worst may be so entrenched in Satan’s lies they will not want to hear the truth even from those who deeply love them. Others think they are fine and don’t see their need at all. The messages and motives of God’s messengers may be misunderstood and literally, at times, all hell can break loose. As soldiers in God’s army we must be prepared to endure hardship without backing down from our calling, while continuing to love those who are hurting. This can only be done as we stay in constant contact with the Lord through the Bible and prayer.
2 Timothy 2:4 “No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs – he wants to please his commanding officer.”
Roadblock #2: In a world of many distractions, it is easy to become entangled in the web of constant activity. We sign up for every call for volunteers whether in school, work, or church instead of evaluating what it is God has called us to do. We waste time sitting in front of the TV or scrolling through social media, liking pictures and reading posts to be more informed about what’s going on in our circle of friends. While none of these things is wrong, we often take them to the level of our life’s calling. These “civilian affairs” drain our time and energy and take us away from the battles our commanding officer has called us to fight.
2 Timothy 2:5 “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.”
Roadblock #3: Sharing our faith with those around us must be done according to the rules. We tend to think a person will come to Jesus because of our knowledge and our ability to formulate our thoughts well. But this is not the case. The Spirit of God is the One Who makes inroads into a person’s heart. We are just the conduit for this power. We must study to show ourselves approved unto God. We must pray daily for our friends and family members, asking God to do the work in their hearts. Then we must be available to speak as the Holy Spirit leads us. He will give us His words and His timing to break through to those He is calling.
2 Timothy 2:6 “The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.”
Roadblock #4: In order to share in a spiritual crop, we need to plant the seed. So often fear or feelings of inadequacy keep us from doing what we can do and we miss the opportunities that are all around us. First Peter 3:15, says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” If we want to have an effective witness, we must plant the seed! This is hard work and can take a lot of time, but the rewards are amazing!
Each of us is called to tell others about our sure hope of salvation in Christ. It is not an easy job and there are many roadblocks, but we are guaranteed success by focusing our hearts and minds on the One Who leads the way. Endure hardship, don’t become entangled in civilian affairs, run according the rules, and start planting the seed. Be assured that God will use your effective witness to bring many people to Him.