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We need to realize our authority in Christ. We need to remember that fear is not of God; it is of the devil.

Fear is one of the things that has robbed many believers and kept them from ever approaching anyone to share Christ with them. They have never been bold enough to say anything to others about Jesus because of fear: fear of what people will say, fear of failure, fear of being laughed at, fear of not doing it properly. Any excuse the devil can use to cause fear in you is to his credit.

But the Bible says, God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). The literal Greek text says, "God has not given us the spirit of a coward." I'm not a coward. I'm not afraid to share my witness, my testimony, and the word of reconciliation with any human being, regardless of his stature - whether he is of low estate or whether he is a king. God has not given me the spirit of fear.

I remember one incident that happened while I was flying from Los Angeles to Dallas. I boarded the airplane in Los Angeles, sat down, and got comfortable. I was sitting in an aisle seat. As soon as we had reached our cruising altitude, the flight attendant came by and took orders for drinks. The guy sitting across the aisle from me ordered a couple of mixed drinks. I ordered a soft drink, pulled out my New Testament, and began to read. In a few minutes this fellow ordered a couple more drinks. After the attendant brought them, the man mixed them the way he wanted them, then reached over and tapped me on the shoulder.

When I looked up, he asked me, "Do you go to the seminary?"

"No, sir, I don't."

"Well," he replied, "why are you reading that Bible?"

"Because I live by it."

"Aw," he said, and sat back.

I just kept reading. I could see that he was "ripe." He was interested, so I decided to just let him do the talking. I knew he would want to know more.

In a little while he tapped me on the shoulder again. "What do you mean, you live by it?"

"Well, when I accepted Jesus as the Lord of my life, I found out that the Bible says, ?The just shall live by faith.? I live by faith; but without reading the Bible, I wouldn't know how to live that way. I live by the Word."

"Aw. I see."

I went back to my reading, and he remained quiet for a little while. Then he ordered another drink. By this time, he was getting a little high. We were flying at about 32,000 feet, so the altitude and the alcohol began to have their effect.

In a minute or so, he tapped me on the shoulder again. By then, he was beginning to talk a little funny. "Are you a preacher?"

"Yes, sir, I'm a minister of the Gospel. But that's not the reason I read the Bible. I read the Bible because I live by it. I found out that this is the only way to live successfully. I was a failure before I discovered the Word."

I had his attention then, so I just turned directly to him and started sharing the Word with him.

"Sir, evidently there's something lacking in your life."

"What makes you think so?" he asked.

"Well, I noticed that's the sixth drink you've ordered."

"Yes, it is"

"There's something lacking in your life, and you're trying to replace it with alcohol. Or you're trying to fill a void in your life with alcohol."

I let that sink in for a moment, then added, "There's just one problem though: There isn't enough alcohol in the world that can fill the void in your life where Jesus should be."

He said, "You're right." Then he broke down and started crying. Now the devil would love to tell us, "You know how these drunks are, they'll cry at anything!" But it wasn't like that. He was sincerely touched.

We talked the rest of the way to Dallas, and I shared the Gospel with him. When I heard the captain announce that we were about to land, I knew I only had a few minutes to lead this man to the Lord. Finally I asked him, "Is there any reason why you can't make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life right now?"

He said, "No."

"Then I want to pray with you."

As we landed in Dallas, I had just reached the point where I was ready to pray with him. You know how everybody is always in a hurry to get off the plane when it lands. As we stood up, I grabbed his hand and said, "Sir, you're sure there's no reason why you can't make Jesus your Lord right now?"

"No reason at all."

"Then I want to pray with you. I want you to repeat this prayer with me."

Now the plane was on the ground and everybody was standing up to get off. As we stood there in the aisle together, I led him in a confession of the Word of God - not a confession of sins. If he had tried to confess his sins, we would have been there all day! To get born again, a sinner doesn't confess his sins; he confesses the lordship of Jesus Christ.

I led him in a very simple prayer, based on Romans 10:9. When I looked up at him, everybody around us had their heads bowed.

After we prayed, he grabbed me and hugged me. He said, "I'm sure glad I was sitting by you."

As we walked off the plane, he told me why he was drinking. He said, "My mother just died. I haven't seen her since I was a little boy because I ran away from home when I was very young. My relatives found out where I was and got word to me about her death. I've come back home for the funeral.

"I've hated my parents all my life, and my relatives have hated me because of it. This is the first contact I've had with them in years. I couldn't face them. I knew how they were going to treat me when I got here. Ever since I got on that plane, I've been condemned for not seeing my parents all the days that they were alive. Now they're dead and I'm going back to bury them. It was too much for me to bear."

By the time that man got off the airplane, he was a free man. Praise God, he was free!

Had I been afraid of what the people on that plane would think, especially when it came time to get off, and that man would not be free.

The devil would gladly have told me, "Now, wait a minute, it's time to get off. Everybody's in a hurry. Nobody's paid any attention to this conversation up to now. You don't want to hold all these folks up and call attention to yourself by standing up and praying for this guy right here in front of everybody! You would both be embarrassed. Everybody would be staring at you. They'd think you're some kind of religious fanatic or something."

But God has not given me the spirit of a coward. Regardless of the circumstances or the stature of the person with whom we are dealing, God has given us the power, and the love, and the sound mind to handle that situation - if we will just be bold enough to act on His Word. God has not given us a spirit of fear.

By the way, airplanes are a tremendous place in which to witness. It's unlikely that the person you are talking to can get up and leave. Where is he going to go?

Most of the time I don't start the conversation. I just sit there and mind my own business. Usually people will start talking to me. They want to know what I do for a living, or where I'm going, or even why I'm smiling! A good place to witness is any place where there are people!

I'm not afraid of people. I'm not afraid of what they might think or what they might say. I haven't received the spirit of a coward - and neither have you.

Source: Sharing Jesus Effectively by Jerry Savelle.
Excerpt permission granted by Jerry Savelle Ministries International

Author Biography

Jerry Savelle
Web site: Jerry Savelle Ministries International
Dr. Jerry Savelle was an average, blue-collar man who was struggling and needed God's help. While he considered himself a "nobody," when he became a believer God told him not to worry about it because He was a master at making champions out of nobodies. God has since taken Dr. Savelle from being a constant quitter to a man who knows how to stand on the Word of God until victory is experienced. Because of the life-changing combination of God's faithfulness and Dr. Savelle's "no quit" attitude, his life is totally different than it was thirty-eight years ago.

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