The vast majority of Christians I know desire greater effectiveness and fruitfulness, yet they are in the dark as to how to accomplish it. Former efforts to share Jesus with others have produced little fruit and have seemed, at times, counterproductive. At times we wonder if anything works any more. Many of the formulas and methods we’ve used seem cold, rigid, and mechanical and, admit it, unproductive.
Unproductive because most do not receive the Gospel. Some do but we seldom see them become regular members of the local church and therefore wonder if they are truly saved or converted. Something needs to change. Drastic change is needed if we are ever going to fulfill the biblical mandate of every nation hearing the Gospel and all people having an opportunity to respond to the message of hope that we proclaim and share.
I believe, and I am not alone in stating this, that we have entered a time when there is a release of a “new wind” of spiritual influence that will encourage a generation of harvesters to go public with their testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. The new model of spiritual influence is based on John 5:19-20, which portrays a certain dynamic not normally seen in current-day evangelistic efforts and programs.
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. (NIV)
The same verses – The Message Version: So Jesus explained himself at length. “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.
It is joining in on what the Father is already doing and picking up on what the Spirit is emphasizing that will bring the needed change to our evangelistic and soul-winning efforts. We need to become sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and thus moving as directed and speaking prophetically into the lives of non-believers. We need to simply do what we see the Father doing and speak what we hear the Father saying. This is something every born again believer is able to do because we are in a relationship with the Father through the shed blood of Jesus. His sheep hear His voice (John 10) and Jesus told us that we have ears to hear and eyes to see as born again believers and followers of the Lord.
As we become totally dependant upon the Father in this way we will see many changes in the way we evangelize and we will definitely see many lives touched and even radically changed by God. Jesus told us that the things He did we can do also (John 14:12) as we do it under the same anointing and power that He used (The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Acts 1:8). Jesus promised that “as we go into all the world” to fulfill the Father’s mandate to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10) that He would go with us. So, we simply need to go.
Failure to LAUNCH AND ENGAGE in this task would be disobedience. Failure to LAUNCH AND ENGAGE would mean that fear and not faith is a ruling force in your life. Failure to LAUNCH AND ENGAGE today’s generation will mean missing new opportunities that the Lord is offering His people. I fear missing out on new opportunities more than I fear stepping out. How about you?
Failure to LAUNCH AND ENGAGE means you are refusing to leave your comfort zone – your safe harbour of predictable routine and non-challenging life-style. Failure to LAUNCH AND ENGAGE means you have lost the cause that we were called to – to win the world for Jesus. Failure to LAUNCH AND ENGAGE means you have lost your forward momentum and are settling for stability and the status quo instead of entering into the greatest adventure offered to the human race.
The Christian faith is not for whimps. The Christian faith is not simply having “fire insurance” hoping that you are going to Heaven when you leave this life for the next. The Christian faith is following the Founder and He promised – stated clearly – that when we follow Him He will make us fishers of men (Matthew 4:19)
The Message Version tells us (Matthew 4:19-20) “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
Can we do less? I think not. Let’s drop all the religious programming and things that occupy our time, effort and money and do what it is we are called to do – follow Him and let Him do what He is good at – remaking us into His image and then we will become fishers of men.
With a new wind blowing it is time to get out of the hammock and catch the next wave of power as it comes ashore.