I’m convinced people are more ready for the Gospel than I admit. But I’m admitting it now, so where does that leave me?
IPeople would be quite eager to choose life if I would simply present it to them as an option. It makes perfect sense because man was designed for God. In the words of Matt Redman, “We’re breathing the breath / that You gave us to breathe / to worship You.” It’s just that having left the bubble, I’m noticing it more and more.
A week or so ago, I went to lunch with a few co-workers. Conversation drifted to driving habits and one told of a bad accident she was involved in on 696 near Detroit. Anyone who has driven that road could empathize that it would be a pretty scary road to have an accident on. Average speeds seem to be around 80 and there is little shoulder to speak of to accommodate cars in distress.
Even though this accident happened many years ago, she hasn’t been able to shake a general fear when driving. She’s “tried everything… even a hypnotist” she told our group. “Everything” hasn’t worked, though; she still wrestles with fear in this area.
And just today, I overheard this same co-worker talking to a manager in our department. The manager was fighting some type of bug and the co-worker recommended a pill she guaranteed would work. “You’ll be thanking me for it,” she told the manager. “If it works, you bet!” the manager replied. “I’ll be calling you and letting you know.”
People simply want what works. And God works. Therefore, they want God—even if they don’t know it yet. It’s the simple principle of reasoning that says “If A=B and B=C, then A=C”.
What does this all mean to me? That I need to start testifying that God’s ways work.
One of the top excuses that I use, and hear others use, with this whole topic is: “What if it doesn’t work? What if I pray for the person and they don’t get better,” or they still wrestle with fear, or this, that and the other thing…
Well, there are two responses to that:
- What if it does work?
- They’re no worse off than before.
I often project what the person will think of God if I were to explain that He could heal them and then they don’t experience a miraculous healing (note I said “miraculous healing” because we often expect miracles when we pray for healing… but healing often takes time to fully manifest). Ultimately, that’s not my responsibility. And more often than not, if I’m honest with myself, I’m more concerned about what that person will think of me if I were to claim that God could heal them and they don’t experience it. It’s not God’s reputation I’m worried about at all. Besides, God is perfectly capable of managing his reputation. Just ask Job.
We have the responsibility of being led by the Holy Spirit into which situations He’s asking us to testify of God’s goodness and release the Kingdom. God has the responsibility of supplying the results.
A related passage that struck me a while back is Acts 3:1-10 where the lame man by the Beautiful Gate is healed. The man is in need and he wants that need met. He think his need is money, and to a certain extent, he’s right. So he asks Peter and John for money. But Peter was shown a need much deeper than money and God empowers him to address that need.
“Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
People want life at its very core… and that’s what God is. God is life. The world has taught people that there are a lot of alternatives to life: money, pills and hypnotists were the examples I just used. But they don’t cut it—just like a baby aspirin isn’t up to the task of a migraine nor a band-aid up to the task of bullet wound. For me or others to stand idly by letting others offer inadequate solutions is like a chief medical officer allowing a resident to prescribe wrong treatment. If that medical officer would do so, he’d be fired and probably lose his license.
Lord… teach me.