by Karen Keim
This Week’s Verse: Zechariah 4:6 – “This is the word the Lord spoke to Zerubbabel: You won’t succeed by might or by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” (God’s Word translation)
Hey, have you read Bill Hybels’ book “Just Walk Across the Room”? What a read! What a challenge! “Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith”. That’s how the author describes it. Our church just finished a church-wide study of the book, and it’s the talk of the masses!
“Simple”, huh? Scary is more like it! So many “what-if’s”!
What if I sound stupid?
What if they laugh at me?
What if they ask me a question I don’t know the answer to?
What if I really mess it up?
What if they just totally reject me?
But, you know, what if NONE of those things happened? What if you prayed for the Spirit to first place you in a situation where you could share your faith and then what if you prayed that the Spirit would totally take over and do all of the talking for you? Do you really think that God is going to let you down? Let me share a recent event where I found out what if!
It’s the day of my birthday, and my sweet, loving husband took me out for a nice dinner. I’m feeling especially light-hearted. After all, it is my birthday! Our waiter comes to our table and plops himself down in one of the extra chairs at our table, letting out a sigh as he does so. I said (as I look at his name tag), “Well, have a seat and join us, Dave.” Conversation ensued and as we’re talking, I had the feeling this was one of those opportunities God was giving me to “walk across the room”.
Upon learning it was my birthday and following along that path of conversation for a while, Dave made a statement about how he just recently realized that growing older was inevitable and that he decided he should be taking better care of himself so that he could see “old age”. (By the way, Dave is a college kid, mid-20’s, and I’m sure his comment about “old age” had nothing to do with his perception of me!) Dave said, “Yeah, I sure don’t like to think about dying!” Right out of my mouth came the words, “Well, unless you know Jesus and you’re going to heaven! Do you know Jesus?” CAN YOU BELIEVE I JUST BLURTED THAT OUT? (Thank you, Spirit!) Dave said, “Well, I’m not really religious, and I’m the kind of person that has to find things out for myself. I don’t like to be told what I should or shouldn’t do.” Feeling a little defensive, Dave? Afraid you’ve got a “Jesus Freak” here on your hands that’s going to start thumping her Bible and preaching? I just simply, light-heartedly said, “I know what you mean. But you ought to try Him!”
We had a great dinner, and Dave was a very good, attentive waiter. We had a fun time with him, joking and sharing each time he came by. At one of his last stops by the table, guess who brought THE subject up this time??? DAVE!!! Wow! Had I planted a seed of thought in his mind? That wasn’t so hard! Dave said something to the effect, “Yeah, I believe in God, but, man, my grandparents have really turned me off. They are totally decaffeinated in every aspect of their lives, claiming to be such great Christians, and they are the rudest, most abusive people I know!” Yikes! What do I say now, Spirit? I once again said, “Yeah, I know what you mean, and I’m sorry about that. Unfortunately, that’s what often gives Christianity a bad name. But, really, that’s not how all Christians act – or should act. You really ought to give it a try!”
That’s all I did! It wasn’t really that hard at all! But I KNOW I planted a seed in that young man’s mind, a seed that now I have the opportunity to pray will grow and be fertilized by others so that some day a bountiful harvest will come from that seed! We left that evening promising to come back and to look for him to be our waiter next time. I told him when I did, I wanted to hear about all the good things that had been happening to him since we saw him last, praying in my mind that one of them would be that he had “tried” Jesus.
Spirit, thank you for living in me, for taking over when I don’t know what to say or when I don’t have the guts to say it. You are amazing! Right now I pray for Dave and for others like him that need You in their lives. Give us strength to ‘walk across the room’ and plant those seeds and to allow You to work in Your ways to obtain the harvest. Forgive us when we have failed to be the picture of Christ that would attract others to You. Amen.
Application: Who do you need to share your faith with? As we have learned, it doesn’t have to be a big, long-winded story. All you need to do is plant a seed and let the Lord take it from there. Pray for the Spirit to put you in a situation where you have an opportunity to plant a seed, and then BE BOLD and trust Him to speak the words!
John 14:14 -- “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (New American Standard)
Hebrews 13:6 – “The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?”
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.”