Alan of Devotional Treasures recently wrote a post entitled Bound to Sin. In it he spoke eloquently about our relationship with believers versus those who are of the world. Upon reading his words, my response was, “Being in the world, but not of the world can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope…but oh so worth it when we reach the other side.” Alan, being who he is, encouraged me to expand on this statement. So here goes…
For those of us who work secular jobs, the temptation to be like everyone else, can smack us in the face on a regular basis. After all, nobody wants to be seen as the “Bible thumper who doesn’t want anyone to have fun.” I have seen it happen more times than I can count. A well-meaning Christian spends more time preaching than they spend building relationships.
As I see it, the solution is to consistently exhibit “the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control” – Galatians 5:22-23 ESV. People do not enjoy being preached at or told that they are going to Hell. However, when we become Jesus with skin on, they will be drawn to us like bees to honey. This is where meaningful relationships begin.
At this point I caution you to wait on God’s timing. The conflict between Sarah & Hagar (Genesis 16:1-16 & 21:8-21) is a poignant example of what happens when we jump the gun. Consequently, if we wait for God to guide our spiritual conversations the receiving heart will be softened to hear His truth. It’s important to remember that you may never see the fruits of your labor, this side of Heaven, but God does. He keeps good records. It’s okay to be the first link of the chain that eventually draws someone to the foot of the cross.
In “And Every Virtue We Possess” , Oswald Chambers states, “We want to cling to our natural virtues, while all the time God is trying to get us in contact with the life of Jesus Christ— a life that can never be described in terms of natural virtues. It is the saddest thing to see people who are trying to serve God depending on that which the grace of God never gave them.”
Won’t it be amazing when God shows the video of our lives and we finally understand how all the seemingly random conversations are intertwined in His story.
Until then, my friend, trust & obey. Just trust & obey.