Mark 13:11 Conviction: A Short Story

“When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.

Mark 13:11 contains some very profound words of wisdom for me. My ability to reason, understand and engage in apologetics, (which, if anyone was wondering, has nothing to do with apologizing) should not revolve around me! They should be based upon what God plans to do.

I, personally, being an analytically-prone person, have a tendency not to give God the glory He desires. I prepare almost everything. I want to have all the research down, be ready for whatever questions will be thrown at me, and say things in just the right way. I don’t want to let Him down. This is not a bad thing in itself. The problem arises when my preparation eclipses God’s rightful glory as the originator of all reason.

I was really convicted of this tendency at my first Christmas Evangelism Boot Camp (CEBC) last year. I was there on the last day and, while praying and walking up to the Trail of Lights, God was really telling me, “No! Don’t prepare your speech for the unsaved world. I have the best speech in mind. If you can relax and let my man on the ground work (the Holy Spirit), He’ll take care of the rest.” Maybe that was a paraphrase. It was kinda scary not knowing what to expect, not having control, but I kept reassuring myself that God has been in the business of saving people a whole lot longer than I have.

So, when there was a lull, I knew it was time to stand up on our stool and literally preach like Jesus did; right on the street. Yes, it was scary. I stood up and managed to get out the first few words. (These were the only words I had prepared, so I had prepared them to near perfection. They were astounding.) “Well, I want to welcome everyone to the trail of lights.” At least I get to take credit for that. That was it; God took over from there on. Praise be to him, for it was not me, “but the Holy Spirit.”

This session of preaching turned out rather well, I think. There was no resistance to the good news as I spoke. People really seemed to be open. After breaking the ice with some trivia, explaining to everyone the predicament of sin, and finally telling them the best news EVER!, I stood down, took a deep breath and thought: Not too bad for the first time. Then again, it really wasn’t the first time; God had done it a million times before, he just hadn’t used this particular vessel in this particular way.

“…do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour…”