Living this journey isn’t an always thing to get since most of us have been brought up in religious environments where our lives are based on obligation instead of friendship with him. Learning to live in freedom and watch him do things in far better ways than we ever could on our own is one of the great joys of this journey. I got this email from a friend of mine who lives in Canada. I love what he is discovering and how he expressed it. He’s learning that our evangelistic efforts and our living as demonstrations of his reality in the world are two very different things. And they are.
When evangelism is an obligation where we need to convince others how wrong they are, we are only pushing people away because of our religious agenda. But when the Gospel simply flows from our lives in the simplicity of how we live, some amazing things can happen. As you read what, he’s learning, watch too at how he’s learning. He’s responding to those nudgings on his heart and watching what the Spirit can do through him is more incredible than anything our own efforts can achieve. That’s how the Spirit wins us into living freely in this kingdom by convincing us that he works in ways our own efforts can’t fathom.
Also, thought I’d quickly share a bit of what Father’s been doing in my life. Towards the end of this past summer, as I began to think about upcoming commitments and scheduling for this fall and winter, I felt Father prompting me to scale back the commitments on my time. In past years, I found myself at times swamped doing things I didn’t always enjoy. Looking back, I could see this was robbing me of time for enjoying simple fellowship and relationships. Anyway, I knew something had to change for this fall/winter, and I felt increasing peace about freeing up my time. I didn’t have any idea what specific things Father was going to do, but it was on my heart to just spend time with whomever God brought across my path and build relationships with people.
Suffice to say, I have enjoyed some tremendous times with different people and can only stand back in awe at how Father connects people. I have also begun to experience the simple pleasure and freedom of relationships. Real stuff happens because of relationships!!! I am so convinced, like no other time in my life, that relationships are what it’s all about. And it’s because of Father’s revelation to me as I’ve experienced this in my own life. There’s such a freedom in just getting to know and love another person only for who they are. Not as a “candidate” for salvation or because I can “get something” from them.
A neat example is this guy I met golfing in the summer. He’s in his mid-50’s, single, (not a believer) and has had a variety of health problems over the years (including drug and alcohol addiction). Anyway, I began to spend some time with him and have continued to do so. In the past, I would have felt a guilt or burden to “witness” to him in some way. But Father has slowly changed me in that area, and I don’t feel any pressure at all. As a result, we’ve had some interesting discussions about God over time, but it’s on his accord. And I’m finding that I don’t have any agenda in that regard, but just a simple love for him that I know doesn’t come from me!!
One time he said something that really encouraged me. He told me that when we first met, he immediately sensed something “spiritual” about me in the way I was. This was such an encouragement to me, as I’ve always struggled with “not saying enough,” especially since I’m not the most “evangelistic” or outgoing person. It was as though Father was telling me that I don’t have to do or say anything, that I can just rest in the fact He lives in me and his light will not be dimmed. But to just trust himâ€”that I don’t always need to “see” the results to verify God’s work! Needless to say, I feel blessed at what Father is doing not only in my life, but in those around me. What a journey! I’m excited at what he has in store!