Relying on the Holy Spirit in Evangelism
by Garron Phillips
When I got saved in 2010 the Lord gave me an opportunity to go on a gospel outreach; it gave me a real joy to share the hope which every born again believer has (1 Pet 3:15). Studying the gospels in the New Testament we can look to the greatest Evangelist there ever was and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus called His first disciples, He told them to follow Him and He will make them fishers of men (Matt 4:19). So, the Holy Spirit does the leading and we do the following.
Prayer is vital to evangelizing; without it we will only be depending on the flesh. Again in the gospels, we see Jesus prayed often before He went out to preach, so we have the perfect example of how we should be in prayer constantly, seeking the LORD and being dependent on Him to witness effectively (Mark 1:35-39). Jesus was preparing His disciples for the great commission and promised them the Helper (Holy Spirit) to lead them (John 16:7-15). In the book of Acts the disciples were being obedient in prayer and waiting upon the Lord (Acts 4:31). They all were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness. It is so amazing that every believer has the privilege of coming to the throne of grace in prayer and asking the Lord to be filled with the Holy Spirit and for boldness to proclaim the gospel.
Individual prayer and corporate prayer are both important when going out to share the gospel. When we share our common faith we are edified, encouraged and unified in corporate prayer. Our hearts are knitted together in a special bond and the Holy Spirit causes our hearts to rejoice when we praise our Lord and Saviour (Acts 3:1; 20:36; 1 Thess 5:11; Heb 10:24).
When reading the book of Acts it’s clear that all the disciples were men and women of prayer depending on God. I never attempted to go out to share the gospel without praying and depending on the power of the Holy Spirit. It will be like driving a car without an engine - just an empty shell that will be depending on the power of self! Like John the Baptist prayed - “He must increase and I must decrease.” Well, that is my attitude towards sharing the gospel. I really just want God's will to be done and not focus on how many people I am going to speak to or how many gospel tracks will be handed out.
I believe every born again believer has been called to share the gospel and God has given us His Word and Holy Spirit to equip us. We really need to have a genuine love for the LORD, His word and being led by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise all we end up doing is learn verses, techniques and strategies on outreaches. I saw a nice little acronym for outreaches: BOB. May we pray that the Lord will give us a Burden for the lost, provide Opportunities to share the gospel and fill us with the Holy Spirit for Boldness.
I love the way Paul depended on prayer and being led by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:17-20). The Lord brought this verse to my mind:
'For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.' - Colossians 1:6
It is really amazing that God in His love and mercy can use us to accomplish His plan and purpose.