1Corinthians 3:6 - I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
The other day I listened to a message Jeff Lee preached. The above word was one of his opening remarks. A couple other were:
We are living in exciting times (as Christians in this temperamental world)
God wishes that none would perish
If you know the Word of God, you will know all three statements are true! (The second is not in the Bible, however.)
It's springtime in many parts of the world. Time to sow seeds and keep them watered in hopes of producing a crop of vegetables or flowers. But even doing these we cannot completely control what comes up. God knows, though.
Then, looking into scriptures on the last days one without biblical understanding would wonder why we would call these days exciting if real turmoil is around the corner and immorality and hatred of God is increasing exponentially. We have no idea what trouble lies ahead. Can't imagine.
All I see is a time when true believers begin to realize the return of Christ is closer. We will never know the day or hour but our eyes are glued to the things we see happening daily, and we see through God's eyes. We wait in anticipation for the other shoe to drop.
I can tell you I am not, at this moment, nervous about it. Maybe I will some day or maybe when the day does come God will pour out His strength and peace over us who believe. I trust He will do this. Just like I trust that should I become ill before then I will work God's will out also in His strength.
So, back to just a part of Lee's message...I have felt like I have not been of much use for God in my little world. I see little opportunity. I'm a quiet person, a little laid back. I write because I can get my point across without being interrupted which seems to happen a lot when I talk! I've learned to be verbally silent...unless the Holy Spirit really makes it evident I am to speak. That is quite a surprise to me when it happens and words flow or thoughts just ARE!
That brings up the point about it not being anything about me that will seal the deal in someone's salvation. I just sow the seeds and the Holy Spirit of God will do the rest. It's the others' hearts that need to be willing to receive when God calls. And it's all in His timing, not mine. This is the hard part sometimes. I have friends I would love to see saved. They are so hardened to their own beliefs it seems impossible. Or they just aren't interested.
But nothing is impossible with God. I've heard lately that Muslims living in the Middle East are coming to Christ through dreams! Do you realize what a dilemma it is for them to abandon their faith in Allah for Christ knowing they will be shunned by their families and even worse, killed. Their religion is far from freeing, but that captivity I've written about. And it is not peaceful. Oh that these dreams would infiltrate the whole world in these last days.
So, Lee was saying we need to ask for this Holy Spirit power to work through us daily. We are to be allowed to be used if an opportunity knocks. He shared a testimony of being with a group of church people in the waiting room of a hospital where they were praying for someone they knew. They saw a young couple, the guy in a wheelchair, his wife in tears. Someone reached out to them and as a group they prayed for this couple. Lee was looking around at the others in the waiting room. There were tears in their eyes too.
He believed God was wanting him to pray for all of them. He was a little put aback by this because he wasn't sure what they would think. But he knew the thought came from God and he did. He explained he was a Christian and he wanted to pray for them all because obviously they were all there needing a doctor. He said he believed God is the Divine healer but that He uses doctors also.
He walked out of there that night not knowing what might have happened to these people. But God does. And it strengthened his faith to do such a thing again when the Spirit of God prompts. We all need to be this aware. And bold.
We may be here in these last days knowing what we know for very important reasons, one being salvation for some. To encourage and inspire another to look to the Lord instead of fearing this world.
We will not always see the fruit of our endeavors. That's hard, in my mind. It's where trusting God is most important. We will never know how we might have spoken one simple word of encouragement to someone we might not even know. We will never know how much or how little we impacted others' lives. Oh, we so want to know these things. But it's not about us anyway. It's about God and how He works in people's lives.
God truly does not want any to perish. But some will. They might hear the what they need to do and reject it or make a choice to take God at His Word and turn from what they've always believed, apart from God, and turn to Him to believe the truth. No one gets to heaven without the repentance mentioned above. No one is saved by their attendance at church or their good deeds. It comes from dependence on God and listening to His truths, hearing His voice and believing in them. He wants none to perish...
There truly are a vast majority of people who think they are fine with God. Our pastor preaches the truth, that there will be a remnant that actually are saved. We must be so sure, so close to the Lord, not just about our own business of daily living. It's a hard word. God didn't even spare all of His own people who grumbled, complained and did not trust for His guidance and provision. Imagine a world where He is denied existence in so many lives.
Lord, keep me so focused on what You want me to say or do. Let me be a willing vessel to be used in any way you desire. I know it's not about me. The only thing that is about me is my obedience to You!
2Corinthians 3:4-5 - And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God...