Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, for the LORD God is my strength and my might and has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And in that day you will say: Give thanks to the LORD, call on God’s name; make known God’s deeds among the nations; proclaim that God’s name is exalted. - Isaiah 12:2-6 (NRSV)
The prophet Isaiah wants you out in public, giving praise to God’s name. Isaiah wants you engaging with people who have never heard good news about God. Isaiah wants you focusing on places where God’s name has a bad reputation.
Evangelism. Isaiah wants evangelism.
Hold on, before you lick your page-flipping finger, hear me out.
For Isaiah, evangelism is telling people about the deep wells of joy that faith gives you to draw upon. What Isaiah means by evangelism is that when you meet someone new, you should tell them about your faith because otherwise they will never understand the way you live your life. What Isaiah means by evangelism is that you should build your life upon the promises of God because though the world might be in an uproar, God’s promises will never fail.
Tell someone about the times in your life when God has meant the difference between life and death. Make it a not-too-scary someone to start off. Don’t tell them what they need to do to get right with God, but what God has done for you to get you right with life.
If you’re honest, if you’re vulnerable, if you glorify God, you’ll be amazed where the conversation goes.
May my love for You, O God, be greater than bashfulness, pride, fear, lethargy, or doubt.
John Edgerton is Lead Pastor at First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois.