Like it or not, you and I are the only Jesus people in the world around us will ever see and they couldn’t care less about our spiritual gifts; our power ministry; our knowledge of the grace of God; our anointed worship; our spiritual discernment; our biblical leadership structure and all the other wonderful changes that may have taken place to renew us and revive us and re-focus us. Those things are all important and they have been used by God and will be in the future but they are for us, the Church. What about them – the ones who are yet to bask in God’s glory? What about those outside the Church who have no choice but to look at you and me and make a judgement about God based on what they see in our character and our life. Our families and our friends who are not part of the Church will do the same.
They don’t care how gifted we are or how prominent we are in ministry; they don’t care how long we’ve been a Christian or how knowledgeable we are; they don’t care about our training or equipping; they don’t care that we got a word from the Lord for someone last Sunday; they don’t care about anything that happens inside the Church; they don’t care that we stand here and worship a God of power, if that same God has not changed us so radically that they see it with their own eyes and hear it with their own ears and are gripped by the reality of who we are in Christ.
The ones who desperately need the Gospel are also not impressed by our evangelism programs. They just need to see transformed lives. They need some concrete evidence that God is real and that He can completely change their life. They don’t want to hear us talk about How powerful God is and what He did in Church last week when we just act like everyone else when they see us. We groan when we’re sick; we whinge just as much as they do about the government; we criticise others behind their back; we act pretty much like everyone else in world. Our attitudes, our character and our transformed life will say so much more than any spiritualised witnessing they may hear from us.
Do you know what your unbelieving workmates, family and friends are saying to you? Do you know what your own children who are yet to embrace Christ are saying to you? Whether you know it or not, whether they know it or not, effectively they are crying out, “Show me the real God in your life. Live it. Prove to me that this stuff is real as it transforms you. Don’t tell me about God. Don’t witness with empty words and prayers. SHOW ME THE LIVING JESUS every day in the way you live. Then, maybe, just maybe I might see the truth in what you say.”
The world is suspicious of a God who can find you a parking spot on a rainy day but cannot stop women and children being raped and murdered in Ukraine. The world is suspicious of a God who can wipe you out and re-arrange your heart in a ministry time on Sunday but He hasn’t helped you drive any safer on Monday. The world is suspicious of a God who loves them so much that He had His only boy murdered to save them all and yet the people who need His love the most – the lost, lonely, dirty, marginalised and oppressed people in the world around us are still not made to feel welcome in what some of us call ‘God’s house.’ The world is suspicious of people who are in the front line of Christian ministry in the Church but do not show the reality of God’s transformation in them.
Basically friends, what I am saying is that the thousands of people out there who desperately need to know Jesus will never know Him until we drop the masks, stop playing games and let the Spirit of God permeate and saturate our whole character. Our walk and our talk need to come into line if we are to make any impact in this world for God.
Thousands of people are out there waiting for you and me to get our act together and let the sanctifying work of the Spirit touch every area of our lives, deep inside us where our true character, morality and heart lies. Those people will not respond to God; the end times harvest will not be a reality for you and me; revival will remain just a word in our prayers and songs until the day comes when we decide to open all the doors to those secret little nooks and crannies of our heart and mind and allow the Holy Spirit to complete the transforming work which God started on the cross, over 2000 years ago. Then, and only then will all those people out there who are looking for Jesus – finally find Him in us.