There are many ways God is speaking to me about this.
I lead a small group at church based upon the book Stimulating a Passion for the Lost. In our second class, I challenged everyone to share their faith in the coming week. One subsequent morning, I took Rocko for a walk at the local park. I asked three young men if they knew Jesus loved them. Each said yes with a brightly lit smile. My Spirit said their answer was true. You see, I was also walking my pup, something that needed done anyway.
Later that week, I escaped from the house leaving the pup behind with the sons. We needed gas and milk. My mood was stagnant. Joy hung somewhere high, seemingly out of reach. I just wanted to get the errands done and go back home to my jams.
Except after I pumped my gas and got back in my car, God whispered,
You said you were going to share your faith
God brought my attention to the young man who was the gas attendant, safely guarded from His truth behind the plastic wall.
Remember, I just wanted to get back home to my jams.
But I chose, I willed, myself over to this plastic window and asked this young man if he knew Jesus loved him. The finger on the chin and the look of confusion said it all. Whether this man wanted to listen to me or not, he was a captive audience. I shared my testimony, told of Jesus willingness to die for all of us, that nothing is out of reach for His forgiveness. This child of God continued to look confused. I invited questions, I offered to walk him through the truth to the Cross. He finally said, “I think that is something I should do on my own.” I offered my contact information in case he had questions. He accepted that. His first name is Devin if you would like to join me in praying for his salvation.
Wow! God knew Devin had not received His Son Jesus, and all I wanted to do is go back home to get in my pajamas.
What shall we do to lay our lives down at the foot of the Cross, a complete and all-encompassing surrender?
Is it study more theology?
Study is good, but living out your faith day-to-day is the laying down of your life. Sacrificing our fleshy desires to fulfill His will, remaining open to Holy Spirit’s leading anytime, anywhere.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5).
There will be another time when I hurry to the grocery store.
Shall I hurry to do MY errand and save MY time for MYself?
Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:8).
Or shall I pray for divine appointments? If I choose to pray for God to use me, I better be listening and willing for His direction, no matter how much time it takes.
But if Christ is in you, then though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you (Romans 8:10-11).
In the book of Romans, Paul reminds us it is a win-win if we live by the Spirit, not by the flesh. Not only do we please God, but we receive abundant spiritual life on this earth, His power that consumes our mind, body and soul.
As I write, I am convicted not to live for myself.
Lord, help me live on mission wherever and however I am placed in Your kingdom. Help me to minister to my family, help me to see Your broken sons and daughters of the world, help me to speak saving truth whenever You have prepared hearts and even when You have hardened hearts. In Your powerful name I pray, Amen
Jesus did not just lay part of His life down. He didn’t offer just an arm or a foot to be nailed to the Cross. He willed Himself to carry the Cross, to silently withstand verbal and physical abuse, to give His body to be entirely nailed, to lose His breath, to taste death.
What must we do to lay our lives down, put to death our flesh, so that we hear and allow Spirit to guide and direct our steps?
I welcome your thoughts.
I am in prayer for so many things: revival in our country, revival this August @Newberrytown Church of God, for Devin and more people to be saved, more Christians to live out their faith, more help from Him for seminary, for me to live as His vessel more completely in each moment no matter where I am.
This post is Part 1 of 2. I only just realized that. I will keep you posted 🙂
Be strong in Him, not in yourselves.
In His love,