September 2, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Isaiah 55:8 through 11:
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the
LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher
than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes
down, and the snow from heaven, and does not return there, but water the
earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower,
and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it
shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
We sometimes think we have to push forth the Word and drag people to Jesus in order for them to be saved. Such a style of witnessing turns a lot of people off, so they end up not saying much about the Lord and His salvation to anyone! If that is our thinking, it is not God’s, especially in light of the scripture above. According to Isaiah 55:11, if we simply give out the Word, God will use that Word to convict and convince others of their need for Him.
You see, according to Hebrews 4:12, “…the Word of God is living and powerful…” The Holy Spirit uses that Word to draw people to Christ. So if you just give out appropriate scriptures – and that’s the only thing you do – God says, “…so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
I saw this happen in a marvelous way with a lady who has become a dear friend of mine. Twelve years ago a friend introduced us. Both she and he were struggling with issues from their past that so affected their present that they were seeking support in an internet chat room dealing with mental illness issues – depression, anxiety, bi-polar and the like. Frank was a new Christian. I led him to put his faith in Jesus a few months before. When Kay found out he was a Christian, she began to pepper him with questions, in a somewhat hostile manner. He quickly said, “I don’t know the answers! But I do know someone who does! Would you be willing to talk to him?” So I inherited Kay, and in the twelve years since, my wife and I have become good friends with this woman and her husband. And we have never met them – except by internet contact!
As I got to know Kay via e-mail, I learned that she had received ill treatment as a little girl from her father. As a result, she just could not conceive of God as being her Heavenly Father! And that, among other things, made her keep her distance from the Lord. Yes, she had a lot of questions, such as why would God allow such things to happen to a little girl as she had experienced. I patiently dealt with every question, giving her scripture and explaining in simple terms how it applied to her situation. I never pressed her to accept Jesus Christ as her Savior.
After about six or seven weeks of correspondence, she wrote me an e-mail I have saved in my files and still treasure:
Chip, what is happening to me? Last night I felt like I had so messed up my life,
and I needed to talk to God. I told Him how I had made a wreck of things and
that I needed Him in my life. Chip, I feel so light and free! What is happening
I answered, “Well, Kay, you just got saved!” And I went on to explain in more detail the spiritual transaction that occurred between her and God the night before. She has gone on to become a serious and growing Christian, finding ongoing victory in some of the issues with which she struggled, and still working on others. I have seen her give wise counsel to other people over the internet, people who are struggling with some of the same stuff that has affected her life. She and her husband are both active in a church I had the privilege of helping them pick out. One of her three sons has become a strong Christian also, and I see her witnessing of her faith in Jesus in many different ways to family and friends. I have told her, “I wish I could clone you and put you in dozens of different churches!” I am very proud of my friend.
But the point is that I didn’t push Kay to become a Christian. I just gave out the Word, and the Holy Spirit did the rest! He is up to the task, because His Word “…shall not return…void, but it shall accomplish what…[He pleases], and it shall prosper in the thing for which…[He] sent it.”