Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just Get It

Have you ever worked so hard at doing something to glorify God that you wound up working overtime on glorifying yourself rather than Him? An often completely unintentional "oops," but one that happens all too frequently among believers who wish to lead others into a heart relationship with God. Sometimes we get so busy being "glorifying" to God that we lose sight of what truly glorifies Him the most - letting Him lead.  In trying to stand firm in our faith and devoted to our Lord, we accidentally get caught up in "my way" rather than God's way, and the results are rarely the glorifying outcome we started out trying to produce.  I've come to realize something in recent months and it's that you can't bring glory to God for another person. That's the other person's job, yet so often we try to multi-manage lives and wind up living everyone else's life but our own.  It's absolutely exhausting, but it doesn't have to be if we'll just stay focused on living our own path, bringing glory to God through our own life, and staying true to our own convictions while accepting that everyone's convictions are not always our own.  It sounds easy enough, but it's more difficult than it sounds when you're madly in love with Christ and want the whole world to feel what you feel. Instead, when you find yourself wanting to show God to another person, your zeal might really only wind up showing off you rather than showing God.  In our quest to "help" people "get" God the way we do in our own hearts, we wind up preventing them from "getting" anything at all, and in the process we accidentally put ourselves in the role only God can fill.  You can't cause another person to "just get it" as you do; they have to get it on their own and on the timetable set between them and God, so just get this - trying to force someone to "get" God the way you do usually results only in repelling them away from the very God you're trying to cause them to get.   

Like everyone else, I interact with people at various levels of faith and from different systems of belief and I'm amazed by what it always winds up showing me about my own walk with God.  I have both friends and some family who are Atheist and while there's nothing I would love more than to have them know God as their Lord and Savior, I find that I rarely talk about Him to them because I know it falls on deaf ears, at least with some of them, and I don't want to unwittingly repel anyone. Ray Comfort would hate that I just said that, but it's not that I won't talk to them, it's just that certain ones have made it clear that they don't want to hear about Him, so I choose to respect that and leave it in God's hands.  In the event any of them had a change of heart and wanted to find out more, I would be ecstatic to share my faith, but until that time comes, I don't believe I would be bringing glory to God by shoving Him down the throat of someone whose heart isn't open to receiving Him.  My job is to represent Him, love Him, and share Him, but not force Him into the life of an unwilling heart who will only despise Him more by my efforts.

 Then there are those who believe in God and all the basics of the doctrine of Christianity, but don't really love Him as their first love, and they don't "get" what really loving Him means or how it feels.  In other words, they have head knowledge of Him, but no heart knowledge, and having one but not the other makes an immeasurable difference in the quality of our lives and walk with the Lord.  While head knowledge may compel a person to be or do good and even attend church, heart knowledge "gets" what Nehemiah was referring to in chapter eight, verse ten, when he talked to the people about the "joy of the Lord," and also what David felt when he said "I love you, Lord, my strength" in Psalm 18:1. If you know in your head that God exists, but don't feel a true heart love for Him, then ask Him to align your heart with your mind - He will be glorified that you asked and you'll be blessed that you did. 

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There are other locations on the God spectrum where people find themselves, but what I've realized through these differences is that as much as I want everyone to know the love of Christ as intimately and personally as I do, they're not all going to.  I have my brothers and sisters in Christ who can identify with me on such an intimate and connected level that when I talk about a "God moment" they immediately know precisely what I'm talking about.  We rejoice with tears when someones life is moved by Christ and we mourn loss with an understanding that by God in Heaven is a far better place.  We get each other's stories about how God works in our days and we connect through the very Spirit of Christ Jesus.  The most valuable aspect of our relationship is that Christ is in it.  On the other hand, there are others who may stare at me blankly if I overflow with enthusiasm during a story of how the Lord moved in my life.  They know He moves in miraculous ways and believe He can do all things, but they haven't experienced the heart knowledge of this on a personal level in their own life, so there's a disconnect in our communication. The deep Christly heart connection just isn't there, not because He isn't present but because both parties must know Him in their heart as well as in their head.  Here's the important part though - every reaction is perfectly okay, even the ones that aren't how you'd like.  Let people come to know Jesus in the time Jesus appoints, not the time you appoint. 

I talked with someone not long ago who said he wasn't convinced that God was the answer.  Of all the religions, "what makes Jesus Christ the right way?" he asked, not waiting for me to answer before he continued talking.  I could have interrupted him and gone into a long answer supported by Scripture about why Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), but because he never stopped talking long enough to let me reply, it became clear after some time that he was more interested in the sound of his own voice than he was in any answers I might have. So I just listened.  Do you know, more was accomplished in the short time I sat silent than what would have been if I'd begun countering every point he made with Scripture? The Holy Spirit will let you know when a person's heart is open and receptive to letting Him in, so if someone you're praying for still has yet to "get Him" in their heart, just be patient, listen, and wait for God's prompting.  He will let you know when the doors of another's heart are starting to open.  Don't try to do God's job for Him, you'll fail every time.   Instead, lend your ear, be His light in the dark, and wait - when the time is right and your prayers have been said, God will touch the other person's heart and they will suddenly "just get it."


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I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:1-2









 



 

2 comments:

  1. Hello, Heather!
    Your words made me think....A LOT!
    I was in the same position as you many times in the past. And I didn't know what to do!
    But I read in a book of Gerontas Porfyrios (he was a holy man who passed away in Mount Athos twenty years ago) something that I will always remember: "If you can't make someone to listen to what you have to say, pray to God with love for this person! God will hear your prayer and He will find the right moment to talk to him...". No prayer is lost.

    In addition, we must not forget that someone can repend and change even in his final breath. The best example is the (one of the two) thief who was crossified next to Jesus.

    Thnx for your time and sorry for my English!
    Have a wonderful day! :)

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  2. Hi wonderful friend - your English was fine, so don't worry! Thanks for tahking the time to respond and share your insight - you are absolutely right, even one's last breath can be the saving moment. Thanks for sharing!

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