One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.’ Acts 18:9 NIV
Maybe this has happened to you or maybe you are guilty of doing this. You are having a pleasant drive to work, but just a little pressed for time. You catch several red lights and then you get stopped by the long, slow changing red light. It turns green and you are ready to go, but the car in front of you fails to move forward. The few seconds of waiting seems like an eternity. Finally you honk your horn, the person in front of you lifts up their head. They have been reading text on their phone and are clueless that the light has changed to green.
Paul receives a vision from the Lord that he has the green light to keep on sharing the good news in Corinth. God lets him know that there is great favor in the city, because of the many believers that are present. Paul stays an extra year and a half teaching and instructing.
Why was Paul afraid to keep on speaking? Why are we afraid to openly share about Jesus? Some fears are routed in reality and some are imaginary. Persecution, beatings, and being thrown in jail were a reality for Paul’s missionary journeys. He was bold, but discreet in where he could find an open door to share the gospel and train new believers. God wanted Paul to know that he need not fear the reality of persecution, because he had freedom.
America is similar to the freedom that was felt in Corinth. Not everyone is a follower of Jesus, but we have many who believe. There is freedom to let others know about the reality and transformation of new life in Christ. In many countries around the world, persecution for openly sharing about Jesus is a very strong reality. Discreteness is still a valuable tactic to share about Jesus. Regardless of freedom or persecution are you speaking or remaining silent?
A spirit of intimidation is rooted in the imaginary fear. The fear of other people’s views, thoughts, and rejection of us, causes us to remain silent. One of the characteristics of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life is boldness to witness. Look how He changed the disciples on and after the day of Pentecost. Ask for continual infilling and boldness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life to overcome intimidation.
If you are prompted to share the gospel with a stranger, have a thought to pray for them, or express an act of kindness, it is most likely a prompting from the Holy Spirit. The devil never wants you to advance the cause of Jesus. When you hesitate and try to overthink the situation, you are being influenced by the spirit of intimidation. You have a green light. Speak and do not be silent.
Blessings Love y’all