Every new thing today is faster than its predecessor. Few, or maybe no products are made to slow things down anymore. Humanity thirsts and craves for things that would shrink the world further and speed up results. And this thirst seems insatiable.
The new PCs, laptops, smartphones, motorcyles, cars, etc… are so much faster and smarter. And the telecoms, internet service providers, microprocessor- and engine-makers have no choice but to adapt and come up with designs and systems that maximize the capacity of these machines.
What I also notice is how we Christians seem to be readily applying this trend of the world in the Church and on the people around us. Indeed, we are unlikely people set apart to preach His gospel to every broken soul we encounter. However, we serve a God who created time & space, right? And we serve Him who holds everything, every human life, together, don’t we? Why, then, are we in such a hurry?
The Lord holds time in His hands, and yet we often act and plan as if we’re running out of time. So much so that we often implement plans poorly, select workers carelessly and approach souls hurtfully. We are often bearers of grief and not of hope. And we seldom give it a thought or apologize because we think there’s no time for it. We think that there’s no time to be careful & considerate.
We think that God needs us to hold back the gates of hell; that if we don’t hurry, God will fail; there is no time to plan, to wait for the perfect timing; we are too important in the battle for the souls of men to slow down…
We tell lost souls that they will perish without dealing with our own filthy souls first; and, as a result, new converts soon leave the faith in a worst state than before.
We push new believers towards growth, we want them to reach a new level of faith in the shortest possible time without regard for their various struggles in life, and so plunge them in spiritual battles they’re not prepared to withstand.
We waste no time in asking non-believers to tithe and give sacrificially without them even understanding what we believe in, and thus we are grouped together with the greediest sales men.
We rush forward to higher projects without regard for those whom we’re neglecting and leaving behind; we push our members to raise funds that they could not afford; and by the end of their ropes the church and the pastor are deep in debt and trouble in Jesus’ name…
Too often, we act as if heaven is dependent on us. Too often, we believe that it is us saving souls and not God. Too often, we reach souls not to help them, but to compete with other churches for numbers & resources. And too often, we move as if the Rock of Ages doesn’t know what He’s doing…
We need to remind ourselves that faith, the genuine sort, is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Apart from its saving grace, the faith that comes from Him is indelible and never hurried. At times it wavers, but it always rises again. He uses humans to plant and nurture it. But ultimately, it is God who lets a soul come near Him and grow with Him. One thing that this kind of faith is not, is human. In fact, anything human that appears to be faith is temporary and soon fades.
When a person receives Christ, no human mediated that. Every individual drawn to Jesus was chosen by God before the beginning of time.
That’s how far-seeing our God is. And He will not allow anything to happen to His children until they come to Him in repentance or until their time is up (John 10:28).
Any human involved in salvation is but a soldier doing His duty. The part of the soldier is only to fight the battle before him, according to the will of his King. The worry and the glory belongs not to the soldier but to his King alone.
So, if the faith that saves comes from above and not from us, if it will grow according to His schedule and not according to ours, if souls will be saved with or without us – – – what’s the rush?
Why give up when no one responds to your sharing of faith? Why panic when other churches are growing faster than yours? Why be bothered when the seed you sowed flourished elsewhere? If Paul was practical with regards to such things (1Cor.3:6), why can’t we be? If Jesus Himself welcomed it, what possible reason do we have not to? (Luke 9:50).
Isn’t that the purpose of having one faith but different churches? Each one with a different purpose but serving the same Lord Jesus?
We are all different and we respond to things differently. And praise be to God that He has prepared the way for each one of us. The salvation of our souls was and is never hurried. It was planned and the Lord saw and continues to see it into completion.
When a person ignores the gospel, it’s not the end of the story. The Lord will use His network of churches to pursue that non-believer to the end. Maybe you and I would be part of the Lord’s pursuit. Maybe we won’t see the actual conversion of the person. But be confident that the seed you sowed, the battle you fought, and the reward, — will not be lost.
So take it easy. There’s no need to sweat it. There’s no need to hurry. There’s no need to convulse while you share the good news. Just do your part, fight your battle, and let the Savior King do the conversion.