“For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)
Witnessing is to give an account of what is seen and heard. Not everyone can be a witness of Christ, even though they can be preachers. A witness doesn’t need the credentials to become qualified to preach but his daily walk with the Lord turns him into one. A witness manifests the power of God that works in him and through him to bless many. People can choose to become preachers but unless the power comes down from above, no one can become a witness for Christ.
A witness preaches even though he/she is not speaking. A witness is a living epistle that others read and come to know the one he follows. “You yourselves are our letter written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.” (2Cor. 3:2).
Worldly education can produce well trained preachers who know every single detail of the scripture but a witness’ education begins and ends at the feet of the master. The greatest teacher is ready to break the bread of his word every time we open our ears to listen to his voice. “If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I come in and eat with him and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)
Our Rabbi chooses different modes of training according to the need and the magnitude of faith of his follower. The Lord acknowledges faith at every level, and rewards his people by taking them from one level to another, but in his time. Everything looks beautiful in his own time and we can’t rush the process to become Christ’ witnesses. The Lord lets his people wait and learn in humble submission as he himself did. “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” (Heb. 5:8). Once he was made perfect, he became a source and left a pattern that needs to be followed by his followers.
Preaching is a gift that comes down from the Lord to multiply his kingdom. A preacher may or may not follow the teachings of the Lord. “Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name…Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. “ (Mat 7:22). A preacher may have many skills and have brought many to the Lord by his charismatic preaching but he may have never accepted Christ as his Lord. For such preachers, it is said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mat. 16:26).
People preach for various reasons and the Lord blesses their efforts irrespective of the motive behind their preaching for the “word of the Lord never comes back void”. Paul declared that he is happy as long as Christ is preached for whatever reasons, “some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition…But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached.” (Phil. 1:15-18)
Are you a preacher? Wait upon the Lord! Waiting is the tool that God uses to turn a mere preacher into a powerful witness who brings glory to him not just by preaching the Word but also by living a Christ centered life.