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Why Witness?
"What's in it for me?" It's a question even the most selfless of Christians asks himself from time to time. It's a self-centered concern, no doubt. But as long as we're trapped in this corruptible body of flesh, it's one all of us are bound to ask.

So don't be shocked if, when it comes to the issue of witnessing, you find yourself wondering, "Why should I expend great effort and time in sharing my faith when I have so many personal needs in my own life?"

That fact is, there is something for you to gain. I can sum it up in one word—power. The power to change your circumstances.

Evangelism releases the power of God in your life in a way few other activities can. Why is that? Because God doesn't indiscriminately bestow His power upon us. He releases it to those who align themselves with His purposes. And God's overriding purpose in the earth in this age is to bring people back into fellowship with Himself.

Let's be honest. If there is anything the body of Christ needs right now, it's an infusion of Holy Ghost power. Far too many believers are living lives characterized by powerlessness.

We seem helpless to substantially affect our own circumstances, much less those of a hurting, dying world. I believe the reason for this lack of power is that we have failed to align ourselves with God's purposes.

Three Kinds of Power
God has made three basic arenas of power available to us to make us effective evangelists. The first is found in Ephesians 1:18-19.

Here Paul prays for his readers:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.
To whom is this power directed? To those of us "who believe." This power is the power of faith. It's available to every Christian and is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. To say it another way, it's an awesome, unlimited power source.

Why did He give that power to us? According to the verse above, so that we might fulfill His call upon our lives ("the hope of His calling") and become His richly glorious inheritance ("His inheritance in the saints").

Yes, we are to be the glorious inheritance of God Himself. And I don't have to tell you, it's not glorious to be sick. It's not glorious to be plagued by lack and insufficiency. It's not glorious to live under a dark cloud of oppression. God receives no glory when your relationships are characterized by strife.

That's what the mighty "toward us" power Paul talks about is for—to drive those things out of your life. Then and only then will your life be a glorious inheritance for God.

"But, Pastor Mac, why would God want me for a glorious inheritance?"

First and foremost because He loves you. But just as importantly, so you will be a light to a lost world. When the world sees the power of God transforming your life, ridding your body of sickness, bringing prosperity to your household and restoring your marriage, it will shine like a beacon in this dark time in which we live.

This is the first type of power God wants to release in our lives as we align with His plans and purposes - particularly His plan to redeem fallen men and women. It's the power of faith.

Holy Ghost Power
The second kind of power available to the believer is the power of the Holy Ghost. This type of power includes the gifts of the Spirit such as the working of miracles, special faith, and gifts of healing.

The promise of this power is given by Jesus Himself in Acts 1:8: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

The Greek word translated power in this verse is dunamis, which refers to miracle-working power. The Holy Spirit comes upon you to bring power into your life. For what purpose: To make you an effective witness. Once again, we see that power comes as we align our lives with God's purposes.

The Power of Dominion
The third type of power available to the believer is the power of dominion and authority. Jesus spoke about it in Matthew 28:18-19:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
This is an extraordinary passage of scripture. Jesus first declares that all authority (exousia - authority, dominion, jurisdiction) in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. Then He delegates that supreme authority to all believers who follow His commission to take the Gospel into all the world.

That's you and me.

In the name of Jesus, we can cause demons to bow their knee, we can cast out devils, we can lay hands on the sick and see them recover. In that name which is above every name, we have power (authority, dominion, and jurisdiction) over everything the enemy can bring our way.

Why are we given such enormous authority? So we may go ye therefore, and teach all nations. In other words, we're to use our Christ-given dominion to spread the Gospel.

All three types of power—the power of faith, the power of the Holy Ghost, and the power of authority—are given to the believer to equip him or her to be an effective witness. If you want heaven's power operating on your behalf to keep you prosperous, healthy, and peaceful, then get your life in line with God's purpose for the power. Get involved in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's what's in it for you.

This isn't a hard concept to grasp. The Bible makes it very clear. Yet, it's one of the hardest to communicate to some people. The message is simple. If you want your inner problems solved, turn your attention outward. Get your attention off your needs and onto someone else's needs. That's all there is to it.

Job is great example of this principle in operation. For forty chapters, Job moaned and groaned to God, his wife, his friends, and anyone else who would listen. Yet his circumstance didn't change. Then at God's prompting, he prayed for his friends. He turned his attention and intercession outward. You know the result. Immediately, his situation began to turn around.

If you want the power of God operating in your life, you're going to have to align yourself with His most basic of purposes—letting a lost and dying world know that there is life, rest, peace, and wholeness in Jesus Christ.

Source: Winning Your World by Mac Hammond
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishing

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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