Let me make it abundantly clear up front that none of what you are about to read is me experiencing any sense of guilt, shame, or condemnation. I merely want to give you a small peek behind the curtain of my prayer life and what I’m talking with God about right now.
Mark 16 paints a vivid picture of what the life of any believer should look like. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Jesus is talking to His disciples, but the message is not just for them. He says the signs shall follow believers. Folks, that’s us. If we’ve been born again, the great commission encompasses us all.
I find myself walking through Walmart wondering how many people I’m passing who have never been told the good news about Jesus. Individuals who have no hope. People who are lost in the sea of life, crushed by their circumstances and experiences.
I wonder if anyone I see is overwhelmed with the addiction of pornography, knowing the answer lies within me. If someone has no idea that God loves them so much, He sent His son to reveal their created value.
What good is it for me to have this relationship with the Lord and not sow seeds into others?
Christ in me, the hope of glory.
I have the hope within me that others are desperately seeking, but they don’t know it. I’m very friendly and say hi to almost everyone in the store, but being nice isn’t going to change anyone’s life.
Yesterday while talking with the Lord, I began to ask what is it that’s holding me back. Is it fear? Well, perfect love casts out fear. Does that mean I don’t actually love others?
Am I worried about what others might say or think? If that’s the case, then it means I am still self-conscious and haven’t completely sacrificed my flesh and just let it die already.
I’m not worried about nothing happening when I pray for someone. I have faith that even if I don’t see a change immediately, a seed was sown and Holy Spirit can work wonders with it.
So what is it?
For the last seven months, my prayer and supplication to my Father have never been about making me a better Christian. It’s always about making me more like Jesus. People think it’s radical and insane when someone takes a moment to stop and pray for another person on the streets. Or when a grieving father forgives the ones responsible for killing his family.
That should be normal.
That’s living the life Jesus modeled for us.
Just imagine, if you will, Jesus walking through Via Dolorosa with the cross digging into His blood-soaked back. The soldiers had relentlessly beaten Him until His flesh was hanging off.
People mocking Him. Spitting on Him. Punching Him. Hitting Him with sticks and throwing stones.
What if He had suddenly experienced a “moment of clarity” and started thinking like we do.
“Father, why am I doing this? I don’t deserve to be treated like a criminal. Barrabas?? Are you serious? They want him released? I’ve fed their hungry, healed their sick, and raised their dead. And this is how they repay me?? You’ve got to be kidding me. After everything I have done for them, they want to nail me to a tree. If they haven’t changed by now, they never will. Dad, that’s it. I’m done.”
And in a fit of selfish rage, Jesus slams down the cross and ascends back into Heaven.
Jesus was innocent and didn’t deserve one second of the pain and ridicule He endured. For us.
Yet, I can’t take five minutes at Walmart to invest in a stranger and give them Jesus?
I don’t know about you, but that stuff really makes me think long and hard.
Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t feel any guilt, shame, or condemnation. I am encouraged that there is something I can pursue. Excited that He lives within me and I am growing up more in Him each and every moment of my life.
So what’s holding me back? Well, I haven’t figured it out yet. When I do, look out world.
The Jesus in me is coming!