Some days you get reminded that God’s timing is perfect. Not that it isn’t always perfect but that we as selfish, sinful creatures forget that God holds everything in His Hands. There is not one thing that occurs without the Lord being in total supervision.
Last night I got an comment from a relative that was complaining about my post Happiness Despite Happenings . Seems I was not Christ-like that day in her opinion. Needless to say that comment was not something I would choose to end a long day of church, violin recitals and church. We had been gone from 9:30 AM until 8:30 PM that day. When I arrived home, I found that comment.
So what would you do in that case?
Needless to say immediate sleep was out of the question:
Well, here is what I did.
1) I attempted to remember everything that happened that day to see what I did wrong.
Much I’m sure, but if I was unChrist-like it was most likely with the children in trying to get things done in a timely manner. Patience is hard with a time crunch. 🙁 But as I wrote that day went amazingly well and the Lord helped me to be much more patient and calm than I can ever be on my own.
2) I reread that email so many times to see what exactly the complaint was. Most of the comment, over 90%, concerned others and not me. Thus the not posting of it.
Apparently a comment in the post was interpreted to be about this individual.
“Some of the funny things must remain private in order to not offend those affected.”
For the life of me I could not remember all that happened that I thought was so funny then. A journal would have helped but I don’t have one. 🙁 I even bribed the kids with money to help me remember. But we do remember a few of them:
~ It was winter and our neighbors had mowed their acres of pasture just previously. Unless you live in the country this might not make sense but that causes rodent homes to be disrupted. Not good. So we soon detected a rodent in the house. Now see I handled snakes, elephants, monkey, etc. when I worked at the zoo but I hate rodents! My plan of attack is full all out war. So we set traps. Lots of them! So the morning that company came we found TWO dead field mice! But I had to make the boys clean up all the traps. I wasn’t going to have a trap sitting in the kitchen floor with company.
~ I buzzed the boys. Clipper sets come with multiple combs for the selected length of the hair. Well in my rush Birthday Boy got buzzed with the wrong comb. Turns out in his birthday pictures he has no hair – he got just shy of a surgical clip. Thankfully, he didn’t mind.
~ The kids reminded me that in the process of cleaning the bathrooms one young child cause the toilet to over flow.
I can’t remember the others but they involved the children. There was nothing funny about this individual. Something especially involved my oldest “Mr. IT” because he hosts my website. He would pull the plug if I posted incriminating evidence about him! :0
3) Then the end of the comment was typical. Stating that I am a sinful hypocrite and not a good example. No argument here. I am afraid I am all of the above and more. That is why I need the Lord every single day. If I was totally sanctified I wouldn’t be here though. But the Lord is sanctifying me more and more every single day. Even with comments. 🙂
The biggest complaint is my attempting to share the gospel with this individual.
I have begged and pleaded with this individual to reexamine her life according to Scriptures. To see if she is in the faith. Because you see just having made a profession of faith and being baptized does not mean you are a Christian. See the post Ten “Christians” God Will Not Allow Into Heaven. I am guilty of telling this relative and others that the evidence exhibited does not indicate that Jesus is Lord of their life and that they should examine themselves according to Scripture.
But I have also been guilty of thinking that I could answer her every question. That I could logically reason her into the faith. But without the Spirit she will never understand.
1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. ESV
That if I just could know enough of the Bible or quote enough Bible verses that she would see the problem. I have prayed for wisdom for me and I have prayed for her and her family.
I have spent hours emailing back and forth trying to convince her that the whole Bible is trust worthy.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. ESV
I have begged, argued and pleaded with her and with God about her.
1 Samuel 12:23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. ESV
But I am found guilty of sin again!
By thinking that if I say the right words or share just the right verses that I just might win her to Christ. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t share verses or talk with her about her need for Christ. But I will not be the deciding factor. I know that, but when you love someone and see them hurting we often run ahead of God thinking if we just do this or that then they will see the truth.
God will bring someone to faith if He so chooses, in His own timing and with His own methods. He may decide to use something I said or not. He can use my good Christ-like behavior and He can use my sin. He can use a donkey if He so chooses.
I received a reply email from a friend who was dealing with the recent loss of a friend. She felt her previous attempts to share the gospel had maybe driven the friend away from Christ instead of towards Christ. This is what I wrote her last week:
… something that it took me years to understand.
Your actions are not a reason for someone to accept or reject the gospel. That sounds so strange at first, but I hope I can explain it clearly.
See God chooses who will be saved. God will call whom will be saved.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. KJV
Not only that, but we believers were chosen from the foundation of the world. God chose those who would believe from the beginning.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. KJV
What does this have to with what you said? You are not responsible for her salvation! Only God is. No one is saved by Jesus and some other person, only Jesus saves those who will be saved. It isn’t a Jesus and man team effort. Salvation is only from the Lord. I’m sure you understand this but haven’t probably thought about it in this way.
God chose the Jews even though there was nothing worthy or to be desired in them. (I spent 20 minutes looking for that verse! Still didn’t find it.) God will choose whom He will call to salvation.
Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have a responsibility. We are responsible to obey the Lord by sharing the gospel and we are also to live lives that we cause others to ask about our hope. Nevertheless, the Lord isn’t going to punish another with eternal damnation because WE failed to share the gospel correctly.
Do you see the difference?
This frees us from the fear of being the reason someone did not come to Christ. It also frees us to share the gospel with more people because we do not have to worry about doing everything perfectly or else they will reject the gospel.
I hope this helps. You do not need to apologize for failing to bring your friend to faith that is God’s responsibility. However, if sin in anyway affected your sharing, either a lack of it sharing or sinful emotions, etc. than your responsibility is to God for the sin in your life.
If God so chooses he can send a “talking Donkey” to share the gospel. And if God so chooses he will make a person blind to bring them to salvation. (Apostle Paul)”
When I reread that the Lord reminded me that:
1) He is in Charge.
2) He will save those He calls, not me.
3) I am not responsible for others lack of faith, just my obedience.
4) God’s plans will not be thwarted by my actions, righteous or sinful.