I don’t know if I’ve ever been more aware of the eyes of other people than I was as I walked the 2.4 mile stretch around an area lake near my hometown a few days ago.
I felt their gazes as if they had binoculars trained on me. I knew they were watching. They were probably pointing at me. Staring. Laughing. Mocking. I knew they were there. And, for just a moment, I let them get the best of me.
On most mornings, like this one, I spend about an hour slowly making my way down the trail that surrounds Craighead Lake. I spend half my time praying and the other half listening to Bible teaching on my Ipod.
There are almost always other people around. Many of them walk the same trail. Others picnic. Some bring their kids to one of the playgrounds. There are usually half a dozen workers busy with their chores.
And seldom do I pay any attention to them at all beyond a courteous, “Good morning” as I pass them by.
But this day was different. This day I was absolutely ecstatic with my Lord Jesus. I had a tremendous prayer time and heard some great teaching, and I was just really aware of how blessed I am and I wanted to praise the Lord!
Only they were watching. I couldn’t lift my hands up toward heaven with their eyes locked on me. I couldn’t shout out, “Bless your Name, Jesus” with their ears listening.
What would they think? What would they say? What would they do? I’d look silly. Strange. Crazy.
Then, I saw my answer. A row of trees loomed up ahead where the trail passed – and I knew I could lift my hands while I was walking behind them. No one would see me then. No One would stare. Or point their fingers. Or laugh and mock.
I walked quickly to the trees and about the time I drew near, I realized just how absurd my thinking was. Why was I embarrased to speak the Name of the One who saved me, the One who blesses me beyond measure? Why did I care what other people thought about me enough to stifle my praise? Why hide my affection for Christ – He’s never hidden his affection for me!
I decided that I would wait until I came out from behind those trees to lift my hands. And when I drew out in open view, I let out what my heart had been wanting to say to my Savior. And I just praised the Lord!
You know, satan wants us silent. He wants to stifle our praise, but not only that, he wants to stifle our witness. He wants to stifle our voices from speaking up for Christ and the things of God. He wants us to keep our affection for Christ and our association with Christ to ourselves.
“It’s for church, not the community. It’s for the worship service, not the workplace. It’s for the sanctuary, not the softball field. It’s for the Bible class rooms, not the court rooms”, he says.
What will people say if we speak up for Christ? What will people think if we stand up for His kingdom? What will people do if we lift up His Name?
Listen to me, Christian. It’s time to be more concerned with what God thinks than what others think. Stand up. Speak up. Wear His Name proud. It’s time to come out from behind the trees.
Jimmy Brown [email protected]mhttp://www.living4jesus.com/