Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A real encounter

Picture credit: favim
”And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Cor 2:1-5
We have a mandate from Jesus to go out into the world and to tell people about Him. To tell them that their sins are forgiven and that they can walk in a relationship with Him. Across the world there are so many “methods” of telling people about Jesus.  When we talk to people about God each situation will be different as each person is unique, but only God can give them a real revelation of the fact that He is real, we cannot try to convince someone with lofty words and knowledge.
I’m not saying that we should not tell people, teach people or share wisdom with people, I am merely saying that the Holy Spirit should be the instigator as to how we should approach each individual. He knows their hearts and their needs and He will minister to them through us if we allow Him to. Sharing the gospel is not a competition to see how many or how quickly we can convert someone, it is a matter of the heart. Loving someone unconditionally whether they agree with you or not and walking a road with them without expectations.
The only way to be effective is to be led by the Holy Spirit when sharing the gospel. Sometimes one day or one prayer is enough, but sometimes it takes months or years of consistent love and friendship or even no words and only actions. God prepares the hearts of the people around us beforehand and He knows when the soil of their hearts is ready to receive the seeds that we sow. I still remember so clearly the day that I met Jesus. It was such a radical experience for me, sitting in darkness one moment and my heart being flooded with light and love in the next. It was instant, it was beautiful and I wouldn’t exchange that experience for anything in the world.
The last thing that you want is to force someone to believe or pray a prayer. We need to lead people in such a way that they understand what it means to have a relationship with God and not just a lifeless religion. They need to have a real encounter with God in order for them to truly be convinced. They need to know that they can expect to hear God speak, because He loves to spend time with His children and that it is a journey. There is no need to water down the gospel or make it more comfortable for people to accept, we should only be real and honest, sharing with them in love.
As Paul mentions in the scripture above, he didn’t approach the people with lofty words and wisdom, but with the true message of Jesus. How He died for their sins to set them free, how He loves them and how He desires to spend time with them. He displayed this truth in the Spirit and in power that the faith of the people would not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Not allowing someone to have an encounter with God is robbing them of the true meaning of being a Christian. Rather approach the situation in Spirit and power, demonstrating the love of God and encouraging them to seek God and hear His voice. God will not let you down, He is faithful and He will let His love find them.

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