Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ready....Or Not

Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. Luke 21:14-15

It’s important to know what you believe and why. 1 Peter 3:15 instructs us to be ready to respond to questions about our hope in Christ. Peter seems to contradict Jesus’ statement in Luke 21. Is it either/or? No it’s yes and amen.

Confused? How can it be both? It’s easy; it’s new math-God’s style. One plus one equals one. Let me explain.

No one wants to wake up some morning to discover that all they’ve hinged their eternal hopes on is a sham. Who likes being duped? When it comes to where you’ll go after you die you need to do your homework. This test isn’t multiple choice; its pass/fail. Being wrong is catastrophic.

We need to be able to share our faith in a manner the inquirer can understand. Jesus said we don’t need to meditate or pre-plan our responses. If not, how then do we answer such questions? We prepare, but we let Holy Spirit determine what we say. The following illustration will clarify what I mean.

Our pastor shared a recent encounter he’d had with another believer. He casually mentioned that he prayed to God about situations. From out of nowhere came an attack. Who, specifically, did he pray to? How did he address God? This individual wasn’t curious, they were hostile. Unless my pastor prayed correctly, which coincidentally was their method, he was going to hell!

As this person rattled on, several scriptures refuting their positions came to my pastor’s mind. Holy Spirit had a different approach however; be quiet and smile. What kind of response was that? In this situation it was the best kind.

Sharing our faith isn’t spewing pre-programmed scripts off the tip of our tongues mindlessly. Anyone’s who’s encountered door-to-door visitors who share memorized lines knows this doesn’t work. God wants us prepared to speak but dependent on Him to direct the conversation. In my pastor’s case the best thing to do was to smile and say nothing.

Without a word my pastor spoke volumes about his faith. He was an example of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. He could have delivered a scriptural smack down. Totally vindicated, he would have missed God completely.
Bottom line, prepare and then wait on God for direction. His course of action and response may not be what you’d expect but it will be the right one. Ready…or not? It’s yes and amen!

p.s On a personal note, last night I got to see a proof copy of Relief Notes. I submitted four stories for this anthology and all were accepted. The finished product should be available in a few weeks. Thanks to all my readers for your support and encouragement. You gave me the confidence to step outside the safe borders of my blog and because I did, I’ll now be a published author.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on becoming a published author. Your thought about the pastor keeping quiet and smiling in the face of the other person is exactly right.We have to learn when to speak and when to keep quiet and let the Holy Spirit work,