Symptom: Butterflies in Stomach

I was talking with a friend this morning about her nervousness about hosting a “My Hope America”** viewing party. She said, “I am nervous and excited at the same time.” My response, “I totally understand. Last night, we went on home visits as part of our Evangelism Explosion class at church and even Pastor was a little bit nervous and a whole lot excited.”
 
“Really?” she asked.
 
“Yes,” I said. “I think evangelism and sharing the Gospel is always full of nervousness and excitement because you just never know what is going to happen. You never know what the Holy Spirit has in store for that particular moment and you certainly never know how Satan is going to try and worm his way into the situation. If someone isn’t just a little nervous, their heart may not be in it anymore.”
 
Even as I type these words, I am a little nervous and excited about talking about evangelism and sharing the Good News of the Gospel. Like a doctor who brings a person back to life in the operating room or is part of the team of doctors who “cures” a person of their illness, a person sharing the Gospel is in a life or death situation. The adrenaline is flowing, as well as the Holy Spirit!
The Good News is a life and death conversation. A person who shares the Gospel is one who is witnessing spiritual warfare live and in person. It is about taking part in God’s plan to bring all of His children back to His fold. It is about watching someone go from spiritual death to spiritual birth and from eternal death to complete assurance of eternal life. And it has nothing to do with us at all. Ephesians 2:8-9 says,
See that last word “boast?” It is so you, I and anyone else who shares the Gospel is not able to take the praise for bringing someone to salvation. God is the one who did it through His son, Jesus, and He’s the one who still does it today each and every time the Gospel is shared.
 
We all get butterflies in our stomachs. Remember the first time you gave a class presentation in grade school or a major presentation at work or with a client? Or if you are an attorney, the first time you had to present your case in a court of law? Do the nerves ever go away? Personally for me, the answer is No!
 
Pastor joked during training that most of us would probably be silently praying that no one was home when we arrived at the houses during the home visits. We would ring the bell, no answer and then we would quietly pray and place the gift on the doorstep and walk away with a Whew, that was a close one! Even in situations where you know the person, I often find myself saying, Oh God, please no, not now…can’t I make it through just one lunch without having to share my faith, my testimony or the Gospel? One lunch! But in reality, you either get the nervous butterflies in your stomach when you know that it is time to share the Gospel or if you choose not to, you walk away with that sick feeling in your stomach that says Why did I not share the Good News with them today? What if they never get another opportunity to hear it before they die? What then?
 
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather deal with the nervous butterflies than the sick feeling in my stomach.
 
Last night as we visited this couple, the Holy Spirit was working as only He can. There was a struggle in that room that was taking place in the heavenly realm – there was a battle for their souls. I know what we were saying with our mouths, but only God knows what they were hearing in their ears and in their hearts. As we began to get farther and farther into the conversation, my heart began to beat faster and I sat there silently praying that this would be the night that this family would be brought into the family of God.
The Bible tells us that “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” (1 Timothy 1:7) We can’t let our nervousness outweigh the prize when we are sharing the Gospel. The prize is a soul won to heaven for eternity.




**My Hope America with Billy Graham (www.myhopeamerica.org) is a national evangelistic outreach taking place in November 2013. My Hope is a DVD presentation of the Gospel that takes place within homes and businesses. This outreach has taken place around the world over the past several years and has seen more people come to know and profess Christ than all of Billy Graham’s revivals combined. There is something about inviting people into your homes and offices that creates an ideal environment for sharing the Gospel. Please pray about whether you would like to host a “My Hope” party in your home or office. You can register to do so at the site above.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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