July 10, 2008

The Edge of a Storm

I can remember once driving in the car with my parents as a kid during a rainstorm. As we drove we came to the edge of the storm because suddenly it was raining on one corner but not on the other. I remember looking out the back window and seeing it still raining on the corner we just passed. That was the only time I can recall driving through the edge of a rainstorm, but I guess all storms have borders.

I am in a class at seminary on evangelism and the concept of evangelism reminds me of a storm. I have come in from the rain, accepting Jesus as the Lord of my life and my Savior. I feel I am standing on the edge of the stormy world, and I need to go back out into the rain to help bring others into the sunshine. Being a stormy environment, the world is not the friendliest place for this type of activity. But I need to plunge in, for I have probably stayed on the dry, safe ground for far too long already. It is so easy to fall into our own comfort zone and to try to forget the trials of the world and the challenges placed before us. Sharing Jesus should be the primary passion in our life. If you are born again of the Spirit, you already have a heart for evangelism, but maybe it is crusted over or needs a little jolt to start beating hard again.

I know the effort is not mine alone, Jesus commanded to all the Lord's children in Matthew 28:19-20. I know I am not alone because the Spirit within me is what will make the effort bear fruit. But I need to take the step to start; a friend once told me the Lord cannot drive a parked car. So I guess I need to put the key in the ignition. And I need to get ready to get wet.


David Porter said...

To be completely honest, I have never had a heart for evangelism until recently. It seems to me, in order for evangelism to have a deep root in ones life, that a deep faith is required.

Not that you need a deep faith to evangelize. But if you have a deep faith, it seems that you are now compelled.

I just watched Dr. Steve Lawson speak on the Great White Throne Judgment, from the Resolved Conference. If you see, hear and believe the fate of those who do not place their faith in Christ Jesus how can you possibly sit idly by.

I now have in me a deep desire to evangelize. I don't have the system yet, but the desire is there burning bright.

Andy C said...

David, I place myself in a similar position as you. I am coming to understand that my lack of evangelizing has been about my placing the focus on me instead of Christ, the fact that the Spirit is going to bear fruit, not my effort in and of itsef.

I do not have a system either. I am not sure I should have one, other than prayer to make me open to the opportunity, the possibility to evangelize in the situations and circumstances in my daily life. If God places me somewhere on a given day, I need to find it in my heart to ask the Spirit to move me as i need to be moved to do the will of God, the command we received from Jesus in the Great Commission.

David Porter said...

I guess what I meant by a system was having a knowledgeable response to various quandaries.

For example, I just had a Jewish family in my house. It is fairly easy to bring the subject of Christ up, but when I do, I want to have a general path in my mind of where I would like the conversation to go.

If I were talking to a Mormon. Same thing...what are the three things that I want to talk about.

I clearly understand that it is not my job to convert them. That is solely in the hands of God/Holy Spirit.

However, I want to make sure that I am knowledgeable enough for the Holy Spirit to use me as a witness in the first place.

Andy C said...

If that is the definition of system you are thinking of, I am in total agreement that a system is needed. I do not think here can be a canned approach to use in evangelizing, it is so influenced by the context you are in and the background of the person yo are speaking with.

I do not know the answers to that question, I am so new at this myself. I guess I have to rely on two things right now: 1)the basic bible knowledge I have, especially on expaining the gospel in clear and simple terms; and most importantly, 2) the power of the Holy Spirit to move me where I need to be, to put the thoughts in my head that turn into words in my mouth.

I think of Matthew 13:11 about not worrying what you say, for it is not you speaking but the holy Spirit.

David Porter said...

I suspect we are in complete agreement.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I need to know Christ, and I mean know Christ, before I can be effective at telling others about him.

I am spending a LOT of time right now getting to know Christ.

As such, I would would now make a significantly more reliable witness then even just a few months ago.

As I have been getting to know Christ, I have also noticed a stirring inside me for evangelism.

Just as I was an effective evangelist for my business, I hope to be an effective evangelist for Christ and His kingdom.

Instead of building wealth on this earth, I desire to start building my wealth in the heavenly kingdom.

I want to be a very rich man in heaven.

Please don't misunderstand that statement.

I want to get a MONSTROUS crown but then cast it back at the Saviour's feet.

Andy C said...

David, I think you are correct, we do seem to agree. I love the idea of the monstrous crown. I have a picture of you wanting a forklift to be able to pick it up and place it at His feet.

David Porter said...

I was thinking more along these lines:



Andy C said...