The Travel Log || Hurdles of Evangelism || John 15:26-27
Updated: Jan 7
God Prepares the Evangelist and the Evangelized.
My name is Ruth Strait, and I am a faithful servant to our Lord Jesus Christ. Whenever I am out and about, I aim to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ through engaging conversations with others. In doing so, I am continually listening for guidance from the Holy Spirit who regularly prompts me to talk with someone in particular. More often than not, the conversation goes well, but not always. Being called as an evangelist is so rewarding, but at times there are challenges. What does one do when the conversations don’t go as planned? How can one best react when someone is not open to learn more about Jesus? What are we supposed to do and say, or not say, at times like these?
Point in case, one afternoon was like most any other day. I was taking a nice walk throughout my neighborhood. Quite often, I see some of my neighbors. This day it was Meredith. When we see each other, our conversations are lively, full of laughter, and many times there is both good reports and sad news to share. We engage in what each of us has been up to, share our comings and goings, and current events. To describe Meredith, she is a spry lady, always voicing her opinion and pretty much always with great enthusiasm. When we talk, putting God into the conversations usually isn’t a hard thing to do. Sometimes she responds back to what I have to say with a quick “Oh, that’s nice, glad it works for you.” At other times, she glosses over my enthusiasm and simply keeps talking as if she never heard me or changes the subject quickly.
On this particular afternoon, my getting a word in edgewise was even more of a challenge for me as she was extremely talkative and was expressing her opinions quite passionately. I patiently stood there, listening to her many musings. There was so much I wanted to say about what God’s Word said on her topic of choice. No matter how I approached getting God into this conversation, it was just not happening. She didn’t want to hear it. I prayed a quick silent prayer and felt that the Holy Spirit was telling me to just listen to her. So, she talked, and I listened. She finished up with what she had to say and we parted ways for the day.
I have learned through many, countless conversations, that there are some people who just don't want to have anything to do with or hear about Jesus. They may roll their eyes, scoff at the Word, call it a fairytale and reject receiving the truth of the Gospel. Why? It could be that they don’t believe in God. Perhaps there has been a deep hurt in their lives and they are angry at Him. There’s just so many various reasons why people choose to turn their hearts and ears from His truth and not believe or have anything to do with God. So, do we give up on those who do not want to hear about Jesus? Do we not bring Him up in future conversations? Do we keep our conversations on a superficial level? I’ve thought about just what are we supposed to do?
For me, I’ve found that the best course of action is to hold true to the fact that I know I am called to love them right where they are. In doing so, it’s my desire to remain consistent in the same level of love and care through ongoing and repeated efforts and responses. For me, it remains vitally important to continue to seek the Holy Spirit’s promptings, knowing when to speak or be silent, and to remain prayerful for God to initiate other timely, God-appointed moments that might make a difference for them. The bottom line is that saving grace comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, a work of God and yes, I may be used as a vessel, but I must also trust that God is able to draw persons through other means as well. Whatever the case may be, may we never grow weary in well doing. We can be encouraged in that the power of the Holy Spirit in evangelistic efforts is active and working in the lives of the evangelist and the evangelized as well. I over time have found that love, and love alone, versus pushing or forcing is the best motive for one to remain consistent and committed to evangelist efforts. Today’s Kingdom Church must also rely on the power found in the Holy Spirit for every aspect of evangelism. It is said that we can do nothing apart from Christ (John 15:5) and this also applies to the Spirit of God enabling us as His fruitful witnesses by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today, may we be prayerful for the continued guidance and direction provided by The Holy Spirit. As God continues to show His sovereignty over daily life by orchestrating witnessing opportunities in amazing ways, we can know that He prepares the hearer by leading him/her through specific experiences which till the soil of their hearts for the seed they’re about to receive. May we thank God for the opportunity to love and serve Him as he works on the hearts of mankind leading in moments and paving one’s way to faith in Christ.
John 15:26-27 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning."
Let us pray . . .
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