Saturday, November 28, 2015

Inviting Faith

The Convincer.


If you are like me, there may be some people in your life that you care deeply about, but they don't share your faith. They accept you -- and maybe even admire you -- but the whole God thing just doesn't work for them.

They have obstacles, questions, and doubts. And because you love them, you may do everything you can think of to help them with their "unbelief".  You give them books, you point them to church, and give them every explanation available to you. And still... they don't believe.

The Real Issue.


In most cases, those "obstacles" to belief are just smoke screens for the real issue -- they don't believe because they either don't need, or don't want God. And providing information alone usually doesn't change that.

"I Will Never, Ever...!"


The saying "never say never" comes from a place in human experience that tells us that given the right circumstances or conditions, we can be dramatically changed in ways that we could never have predicted. And it almost always starts with a heart-shift rather than a mind-shift. The mind goes along for the ride when the heart is convinced.

Unrequited Love.

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." (Revelation 3:20)
God must live in a constant state of unrequited love. I don't know how He stands it. He could so easily demonstrate His power and His might and instantly get our obedience and respect.  But instead, He chose to demonstrate His love by sending Jesus to live and die, and live again -- for us. And He knocks gently at our heart's door asking us to love Him back. Just love Him back!

Prodigal People.


Most adults that are led to Jesus come from a place of need or desire usually driven by a circumstance that is beyond them. Even people who say they have never believed in God may find themselves on their knees talking to the air in hopes that someone is listening when faced with a tragedy or challenge where they are confronted with their own inadequacy.

In that moment, their obstacles and doubts don't disappear,

 they just get a whole lot smaller. 

If, then, they open their hearts to Him in that hour of need, He answers with His love. Some of their questions may get answered along the way, but mostly they just ride along with their new faith and become less important in the light of knowing Him personally.

It's probably that way for most Christians, regardless of what age we came to faith in Jesus. Our questions never go away completely, they just shrink in importance because we know the "author and finisher of our faith" personally (Hebrews 12:2), and that is more than enough for now. (I Corinthians 13:12)

Become a Loving Invitation.


So, when considering how to relate to your non-Jesus-follower friends or loved ones, keep giving them the books, inviting them to church, praying for them -- and above all, loving them. And rest in the fact that it is more of a heart-thing than a mind-thing, and God alone does the heavy lifting. We are just there to point the way and invite them -- not convince them -- into a loving relationship with Him.

I have a song for everything.

"Broken Hallelujah" by The Afters
"Let Them See You (in me), by JJ Weeks Band

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