So it’s Monday morning, and I have some confessions to make. Sometimes, I’m not as bold with my faith as I’d like to be. Sometimes I am so caught up in my own stuff that I avoid contact with people I don’t know especially in public places. Sometimes I can fit the stereotype of a writer/hermit. Sometimes while I think people who are bold with their faith are awesome secretly I would rather hide. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m behind a pulpit I am a bold person. I would pray with anyone, and declare Jesus in their lives and their 2nd cousins named Bob…grin… However, when I’m in Wal-Mart and God gives me a prophetic word for a complete stranger, my reaction can be a bit different. Sometimes I’ve been known to be disobedient, and sometime I have stepped out in faith.
I have an old friend who used to joke with me that for every convert people bring in they get a set of steak knives. It’s a joke, but it is the way non-Christians can sometime view Christians who are always trying to evangelize wherever they go. Its fear of not wanting to look like ‘that guy’ that stops me sometime from ministering to ones that God really urges me to.
I think many Christians fall in two extremes in this category. There are the ones who will tell everyone about Jesus (which is awesome, but can come across as a bit of a salesman), or the ones who never say anything (and that’s not doing what God wants us to do. He wants to go and preach the gospel to all nations which includes people outside a church Matt 24:14)
You find the balance here by being led by Jesus in these situations. When you stay open to be used by God wherever you go, He will use you and send you to those who are open. It may be a subtle urging, but you’ll know that God wants you to talk to this person or that one.
In Acts 3 when Peter and John healed a man sitting at the Gate Beautiful, they’d passed that man dozens of times before that day, but as he called out for help they knew God was leading them to pray for his healing. That was the day of that man’s healing. He did recover and it was one of those public miracle scenes that brought many into the Kingdom.
While I was in Canada a few weeks back, my family had new pictures taken, and the photographer started to complain about her ear. While I typically don’t go looking for situations to pray for, in this situation she was complaining. I have started to try to make it a habit when someone mentions sickness or pain, then I offer to pray for them. Before I talked myself out of it, there in the middle of the store, I asked her if I could pray for her. She said yes. Honestly I think she thought I meant at home later, but instead I laid hands on her ear and declared the power of Jesus in her hearing. While I don’t know if she experienced any miracle or not, and may never know on this side of heaven, I do know I felt the power of God on the situation. I do know that while I’m not perfect at doing these kinds of things out in the marketplace this time I did before I could talk myself out of it. I do know at least I was obedient.
Mark 16:17-18 (ESV)And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Christians, me included have spent too long being afraid of being ‘that guy’ instead of seeing that there is a lost and dying world that is desperate for a supernatural touch from God. If we as believers refuse to take it to them, then how will they ever know?
I am making it a new commitment. While I’m not turning into ‘that guy’ I do want to learn to stay more open when I’m in public. If God tells me to pray for someone, I do it. Maybe I start a conversation with them on a plane, or just give them a smile then I’m going to endeavor to do it before I can talk myself out of it. I’m going to see the world in front of me, and dare to open my mouth. I encourage all of you to do the same. It’s not about earning a set of ‘steak knives’ but it’s about souls that desperately need Jesus. If we are to be Jesus on the earth, than isn’t it time we act like it?
God has awesome plans for your life, and the world around you. Get excited!