For a while now I have had a thought rolling around in my head. And I’ve been trying to figure out this thought and what I should do with it. So here goes. Short answer is that I need to pray for friends and family and trust God to cover the details. Long answer is below.
You know how you share the gospel with friends and family and they don’t respond? They just choose to stay where they are and seem like they are happy there. I’ve been wondering why that certain people won’t follow the gospel. Or for that matter, why won’t they follow me. After all, I’m a pretty good fellow. Anyway, that’s my thought. I’ve been wondering why you sometimes see no response when you have shared the gospel and what God has done for you.
Looking into the scriptures, you can find the answer to this question. And it’s a really good answer from Jesus personally.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:19-20
Basically, they are happy with their lives and the way they live, so they won’t change. They don’t want interference into their lives and choices. I remember a friend that I would sometimes share the gospel with. He told me I was scaring him when I talked about heaven and hell. We both liked to ride motorcycles so I asked him this question. What if we were riding our bikes and I looked over and saw that the wheel nut was loose on his front tire. If I started yelling pull over, would I be trying to scare him or save his life? He quickly said if I could make him see the danger of a loose wheel nut, he would pull over and thank me for saving his life. But what if he is really enjoying the ride and he just tunes me out and rides on down the road. He won’t listen to the warning or see the danger that’s coming.
Doesn’t that describe some people that you know. People that get content with their life and just cruise on down the road unaware of any signs of danger. They have made choices that make them happy and they are just cruising along without a care in the world. Maybe they think that they have done enough good works for God to take care of them. I know some that believe that God is so good, He would never pass judgement on them. And some think that the goal is to make sure that your good works outweigh your bad works. They think that somehow this will impress God. I’m figuring out, and sometimes remembering, why they won’t come to God.
Over the last couple of weeks I have had this thought in my head and it’s taken me on a journey through the scriptures. I’ve looked at predestination, election, free will and other things that can make you cross eyed as you ponder the details. While looking for the answers though, I had forgotten a basic thing in my own life. And today a friend, Nicki Woodfin, posted on her blog something that helped me remember.
Due to events in my life, (more about these events later) I have spent some time in my own desert wandering much like the children of Israel. I was dealing (not very well) with things and was guilty of finding my own way in life. I had questions that seemed to be bigger than life itself. I was finding my own answers to my questions and problems and leaning on my own strength to make it through. And, for a while, I was content with my life. But God began dealing with me on the issues in my life. I didn’t like the way he was dealing with me either and as a result I didn’t make immediate changes in my life. I tried to justify what I was doing and how that it all seemed to be good for me.
I had forgotten how that I too was blinded by the cares and troubles of this world. I remember now how that I had hurt so much, all I wanted to do was not hurt anymore, So I tried to make a world that protected me and would allow me to have pleasure without worry or hurt. It didn’t work of course, but I was determined. Not smart, but determined. Then God began to draw me back to Him. I fought him along the way, but eventually God won out. I’m so thankful for that.
Simply put, all that time thinking led me back to remembering how far that I drifted from God and that it is always God who draws us. In my zeal to live life without pain and full of pleasure (which is impossible), I was not looking for God. But God had another plan and he wasn’t finished with me. I’m sure there were people praying for me to get my life together. Praying for me to trust God instead of my own strength.
So, with that thought in mind, I’m reminded that I need to pray for family and friends who don’t seem to respond and I need to trust that God is already on the case. In fact, He wants to save them way more than I do. After all, He gave his one and only son as a sacrifice so that we could be saved!
Have a great day and know that God loves us much more than we ever realize. His desire for us in not to have a comfortable life, but to be able to find comfort through Him and His word.