Are you a Professional Negotiator?
Do you find yourself saying to the Lord: “I will step out and share the gospel with each and every person I meet as soon as I finish… Or, as soon as I get this situation I’m dealing with settled… Or, once I retire… .” Are you a professional negotiator – someone who professes to know Jesus but continues to negotiate when they will be willing to share Him with others or when they will be willing to risk sharing Him with others?
Remember the lesson of Ananias and Sapphira (in Acts 5): they told Peter (who was a direct representative of the Lord in their lives) that they were giving their ALL after selling their land to walk with the Lord. They shortchanged the Lord, and instead held back some of their reserves; they did not fully invest their faith in trusting the Lord to be their all in all. They didn’t pay with their lives because of the amount they gave the Lord, it was because they professed that they were giving their all yet they held out and they did not give their all to the Lord. They failed to place all of their faith and trust in the Lord and His kingdom resources.
I believe that there are many ways in which we “hold back” from the Lord, whether it’s our tithe and offering or whether it’s with allowing Him to use us each and every moment of our lives by completely engaging with His plan and being willing to share Him with everyone we meet. Remember, Jesus paid the price for each and everyone on the Cross whether or not they choose to receive Him… He already suffered for them that they would have the opportunity to choose through free will whether or not they want to receive life and life more abundant through Him.
We are His direct representatives. We sometimes are the only version of Jesus that someone will encounter along the pathway of their life. How fully do we represent Him? The Bible says: To he whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).Think about what Jesus saved you from, where was your life headed when you met Jesus and chose to change it forever?
Remember in the Bible when Jesus met the demoniac outside the tombs and set him free from a legion of demons? That man knew what he had been set free from and he knew that he wanted to follow Jesus every day of his life so he begged Him to go with him, leaving his old life behind. Jesus instructed him to remain where he had been so brutally demonized in order to share the good news with the others who lived there, others who had written Jesus off and walked away not wanting anything to do with him. Talk about a difficult assignment! I believe that’s a foreshadow of our assignment because each and every one of us has been set free from something and whatever it is, we have been given a new level of authority over it in order to set another free by sharing our testimony.
“The testimony of Jesus is a prophecy unto the future” (Revelation 19:10) because they “overcame by the blood of the lamb, the word of their testimony and not loving their lives unto death”(Revelation 12:11). When we share what Jesus has done for us with another, we give them hope and they can see light at the end of that deep, deep, dark tunnel that they’ve been traveling through. Why would we ever want to hold out on our brothers and sisters who just don’t know the answer to their particular scenario just yet?
How would our lives change if we considered each page in the Book of our lives as Kingdom currency, and we asked Jesus to “spend” our lives as He would? Let’s invite Jesus to show us who He wants us to interact with that they could receive Him, not just our idea of Him, but a true encounter with His Love through us as we reveal Him to a dying world.
This morning the Lord gave me a dream. I was alongside a busy road, about 10 feet below an overpass, looking through all the debris of accidents that had happened along that busy section of road. I was with another person at first and then I found myself alone as I was sorting through the trash and debris. I could see people up above me, walking along the overpass, some had dogs with them and then I heard the sound of horses. I wanted to see the horses so after one passed by, I quickly climbed up the embankment. I saw a single rider go past and then someone who had a pet dog sitting on a shelf behind their saddle. That intrigued me so I looked closer. I saw that the dog was tied down so that it could ride on the horse safely while still restrained. When I looked ahead of the horse that had the dog riding on it, I saw a carriage with passengers in it. It was a black carriage and it had two rows of bench seats and was full of passengers. I remember thinking “I wish I had my camera because these would make some interesting pictures with all the different shapes and colors”. It was almost like a circus parade with lots of interesting things to look at and bright colors everywhere.
I believe that the Lord was showing me that it is time to go out to the highways and the byways. We need to be willing to look through the discards and the debris of life, to search out the treasures that only He can highlight for us. The rest of the world is passing on by, looking for an easy ride, looking for entertainment and although that may be pleasing to the eye, this is the time to make a choice. We need to be willing to go low and look in unlikely places for the “trash” that the rest of society has written off in their pursuit of the next best thing, that flash in the pan that will momentarily tickle their fancy.
This is a moment to partner with Him that He can bring hope to the broken and illuminate His heart for them. It is OK to look at the rest of the world, but do not get lured in; keep a very distinct boundary; make a clear-cut choice to be about your Father‘s business – there is no time for fun and games. Enter in! This is not a “photo moment” – it is time to get busy searching Him out in the debris fields of life. After all, He tells us “that which you do for the least of these you do for me” (Matthew 25:44). I believe He is there already, just waiting for us to join Him, after all He tells us that He “leaves the 99 to go in search of the one that is lost”(Matthew 18:12). Let us keep our eyes open for Jesus in each and everyone we see, no matter where we find them. It truly is the least we can do.
Eternal Hope in Christ