A Providential Encounter With A Friend

Wouldn’t you know it, there I was minding my own business at work, and along came Jason — a man I had not previously met. The Spirit of the Lord was moving in me, and I knew the word was, ‘Be quite, listen.’ So I did.

He didn’t share much, really. Rather, it was simply one of those so-called ‘normal’ encounters that you or I might normally have at work – a co-worker asking for something.

‘Have you seen so-and-so?’ he said.

‘No, sorry,’ I replied.

We shared a little bit, and eventually, I sensed the clear leading, ‘Ask him his name.’ So I did.

‘What is your name?’ I asked.

‘My name is Jason. You can call me ‘Jay’ for short.

Then the word came, but not in words, only ‘unction.’ By ‘unction,’ I sensed in my spirit that there was liberty to ask him:

‘Are you a Christian?’ I asked.

Puzzled — no bewildered — the man said, ‘I used to be. I was baptized (certain denomination).’

What that statement suggested to me was that Jason’s ‘view’ of what it meant to be a Christian was directly associated with his baptism. But he gave all indications that he had never met Christ. He had never met ‘the real thing.’ He had only been introduced to religious teaching, and that is why he ‘left’ (so to speak) the Christian faith.

The truth is, Jesus said that those who were really his could not escape from out of his hand (John 10:27-29). Jason had never been really ‘exposed’ to true Chritianity. In other words (not to undermine the church which he attended), in the midst of Jason’s “religion”, he had never been introduced to the person of Christ, the lover of his soul.

I knew I could not say anything much right now — in fact, I tried and Jason quickly said he didn’t think it was appropriate conversation for the workplace.

Jason had decided to reject Christ. In reality, I think Jason really rejected his particular view of what Christ “was” or “meant,” based on the religious teaching he had been exposed to (perhaps a large part of it coming from his home environment, as well, in which God may have been incorrectly portrayed). Hence the need for me to be sensitive with this man to show him “who Jesus really was”. Jesus was not “a church” — he was not even “the church”. He was the head of the church and the lover of his soul! But Jason had yet to meet this Jesus, having been brought up to believe that Christianity was merely a set of rules to be observed.

Let us do our best in the midst of the “religion” that we have been brought up with, to understand that the religion itself is not Christ. No, Christ is a person, and he wants to indwell the hearts of each and every one of his creation. If he has done that in us already, he can and will do that in others through us, as we take the time to introduce this “Jesus” to those with whom we have been placed.

‘But as many as [personally] received him [Jesus], to them [only] did he [Jesus/God] give the right [or power] to become children of God, even to those who believed on his name.’ (John 1:12)