“’When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.’” (Luke 12:11–12, NIV84)
I have been preaching and teaching for more than 30 years. I am living proof that this verse is true. Even after all these years I get nervous, sweaty and cold hands before I speak. I am NOT a natural speaker. My high school speech teacher told me not to go into public speaking, and she wasn’t wrong. When I was in high school, I would get blotchy and stutter through all my speeches. But not today! What has made the difference? The Holy Spirit! I can tell you with 100% confidence that the Spirit of God provides me the motivation, the passion, and even the words to speak.
I tell you all that to address the most common concern about defending the faith. People are afraid they will not know what to say, or that they will say the wrong thing. Listen to me clearly when I say to you that the only wrong thing to do is to not say anything. If you say nothing, then you don’t even give the Holy Spirit the chance to work through you. It is OK if you don’t have answers to every question. Most people don’t expect you will. They find it refreshing for a Christian to honestly say, “I am not sure about that. I will have to look into that.” I still say that 30 years into this gig. We need to rely on the Spirit of God that gives divine power to the printed pages of the Bible, to give power and direction to the words that will come out of our mouths when we seek to defend our faith. We need to remember that we are never alone. God is always with us. We need to trust Him. I have never grown tired of experiencing how the Spirit works through me to touch others. It has actually done much to strengthen my faith. Imagine how much of the Spirit’s work I would have missed if I looked with the eyes of sight and never opened my mouth to teach.
Do NOT be afraid to share your faith! The moment you begin, the Spirit of God will be there to govern and guide your thoughts and your words.