As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42.1, 2
Being a witness, doing evangelism
How can we know if we truly believe in Jesus? The short answer: Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
Paul wrote that we become believers when the Holy Spirit enters our heart, empowering us to believe in Jesus and to identify and call out to God as our Father (Gal. 4.6). Once established there, the Spirit begins to decorate our heart – our longings, desires, loves, and aspirations – with the pure teaching of the Law of God and all His Word (Ezek, 36.26, 27; 2 Tim. 3.15-17). He plants the seeds of holy spiritual fruit (Gal. 5.22, 23) and unpacks gifts to be used in building the church (1 Cor. 12.7-11). The more His work in these areas progresses, the more He testifies plainly to us “that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8.16).
It is plain evidence that we do not have the Spirit if we reject the Law of God (Rom. 8.5-8) and continue to live unchanged from the ways we lived before we believed in Christ (2 Cor. 13.5).
But where the Spirit has come to dwell, delight in God’s Word grows (Jer. 15.16), evidence increases of the Spirit’s “stretching out” within us, power for witness accumulates in our soul (Acts 1.8) and overflows into our Personal Mission Field to refresh and renew the people to whom God sends us (Jn. 7.37-39)
Absent such evidence of faith (Heb. 11.1), we should carefully consider whether we truly know the Lord and have received the gift of the Spirit and the salvation of the Lord.
All who possess the Spirit of God will prepare themselves to bear witness to Jesus (1 Pet. 3.15). And churches filled with such people will be evangelistic churches, indeed.
Resources for Shepherds
Every Christian’s vantage point on life must include a certain amount of looking back. But we also need to learn how to look ahead, to the increased coming of Christ’s Kingdom in and through us.
We can’t know everything. But we need to learn as much as we can. Staying in our lane as disciples can be a challenge, but we must all learn how to do it.
Need a little more “Wow!” in your life? The goodness of God is in all the earth (Ps. 33.5). If we can learn to be more observant, we might be a little more wowed by the Presence of the Lord.
What do you say when a church member asks you the question, “What in heaven is Jesus doing on earth?” No need to stammer and stall. Here’s a little help for you, our friends.
From the Celtic Revival
Slain any lies lately?
To heaven’s King he was known,
towards each threat He lit his mind...
His brilliant fame – just in speech –
he was the spearcast, lies were slain.
- Beccán mac Luigdech, Fo Réir Choluimb, on Colum Cille, Irish, 7th century
When all else fails, trust the Lord:
St. Brendan entered the boat, and with hoisted sail they set off westward into the summer solstice. They had a favorable wind and needed to do no more than trim the sail. But after fifteen days the wind dropped and they rowed and rowed until their strength failed. Then straightaway St. Brendan began to give them words of comfort and encouragement: “Brothers, you have nothing to fear, for God is our helper. He is our navigator and helmsman, and He shall guide us. Pull in the oars and the rudder. Spread the sail and let God do as He wishes with His servants and their boat.”
- Anonymous, The Voyage of Brendan, Irish, 12th century
Thirsty for the Lord?
My soul is like a land without water.
My bowels burned as if with fire.
May my heart burn with the fire of Your love and fear,
Your love and holy fear which knows not how to yield.
- The Prayers of Moucan, Irish, 8th-9th century
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All Psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter.
 Clancy and Márkus, p. 139.
 Davies, p. 159.
 Davies, p. 305.