It’s easy to talk about exciting things happening in your life. I remember when my sons were born, I would show pictures of them to strangers in the checkout line in the grocery store. I tell acquaintances about my vacations. When I finally do graduate from Dallas Seminary, if ever, I will tell everybody I know about it.
Proclamation is a natural part of life. When exciting things happen to us, we want to share them with people. The joy is almost incomplete unless it is shared with someone. It would seem then that sharing what God has done in our lives would be natural, as natural as telling a stranger in the checkout line about the birth of a child. But for whatever reason, when it comes to proclaiming our faith, we freeze up.
Part of this comes from the fact that we see evangelism as a formal process that requires a seminary education and years of training. Either that, or we see the methods of evangelism as cheesy, forced, and impersonal, so for the sake of being authentic, we choose not to participate.
Despite the reasons most Christians don’t share their faith, proclamation is something that should be a part of every Christian’s life on a consistent basis. To understand the biblical basis for this holy habit, we need look no further than Jesus’ final recorded words before he ascended. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Being a witness means telling people what you have seen and experienced.
I think some of the best examples of the holy habit of proclamation come from those Jesus healed in the gospels. In John 9, Jesus heals a man born blind. it seems like there would be nothing but good things to say about this amazing feat, but since Jesus did this on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders didn’t like it. When they confronted the man, they grilled him. They accused Jesus of being a sinner and the healed blind man of being complicit in his sin. And I love how he responds. “He answered, ‘Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.’” (John 9:25) This man had no religious training that we know of. He didn’t even really know Jesus or the full extent of who he was. But he proclaimed the truth.
Another story is that of the healed demoniac in Luke 8. Jesus and his disciples, after crossing over the sea of Galilee from a Jewish area to a predominantly Gentile area, were met by a naked demon possessed man. After Jesus confronts him, casts the legion of demons living inside him into a herd of pigs, the man begs Jesus to let him follow him. Instead, Jesus says this, “‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:39 italics added)
In both of these stories, the recipients of God’s healing simply shared with others what happened to them. Proclamation really is that simple.
So this week, I challenge you to simply proclaim to others what God is doing in your life. Here are a few things that can help make proclamation a holy habit:
- Notice when God is working in your life. One of the reasons we have a difficult time proclaiming is because we don’t realize we have something to proclaim. Recognize God working in your everyday life.
- Share naturally. Proclamation should never be forced or insincere. Just tell the people around you what is happening in a natural, conversational way. If this is too uncomfortable at first, start with your family and close friends. Proclaim what God is doing to others in the church and then start naturally proclaiming elsewhere.
- Don’t psych yourself out. Proclaiming the good things God has done in your life is no different than telling others about a promotion, or a good vacation, or anything else like that. God can take what your doing and do miracles, but all you have to do is share what is happening in your life.
- Pray for opportunities. God wants us to proclaim his goodness to the world, so ask him for opportunities throughout your day to do so.
How have you proclaimed what God has done in your life? Share some success or failure stories.Tweet