Right in the middle of work time, and as best I could, I recently shared my faith with a man whom I admire and love in heart. As he and I happened to be sitting right next to each other in one of the labs at work on that particular day, I felt a tremendous “unction” (or “leading”) in my spirit to share with him about Jesus. What is “worse” is that this “unction” didn’t die down even once while I was with him the whole time (about a ten-minute period). It did not abate, it did not die down, it did not end, it did not stop, not even once!
I believe God was saying to me that day, with a great sense of earnestness, “You had better share with him now, in your best possible manner, however you know how, the love of Jesus Christ. This man needs to know. Tell him with love, but tell him now.” I heard it. In my spirit — although there was no audible voice or anything like that — I knew what God was calling me to do, I was afraid (because of fear of rejection from this man), and yet I knew I had to take action, or suffer the consequences of grieving the Holy Spirit who was in my heart. I know that it would rob me of life by not obeying God in everything. Therefore, even though doing so represented somewhat of a challenge for me (mostly for fear of rejection, I must say), I proceeded to boldly and unashamedly share with my faith with this man. How long did he have to live? Was God trying to reach him through me, knowing that there would be no “second chance?” Just maybe.
In the Bible, we read of a commission given to the prophet Ezekiel at a time when Ezekiel was “appointed by God” to take God’s message to the people of Israel. God was serious about Ezekiel’s need to “warn the people” about their sin, lest they should be swept away in judgment. Therefore, even though this may have been somewhat of a scary thing for Ezekiel to do, yet for the sake of God’s love towards the rest of his people who did not know God, God commanded Ezekiel to “take the message” to them. That same impeding sense of having to share, I believe, can sometimes (but not always) be applied to us, as well, as Christian believers. There are times, when God says to us, “Please do it now! This is a command!” At other times — normally, I find — there may be plenty of latitude given to us, and a “sprinkling of grace” while in that person’s presence may be all that God requires of us (for example, just showing a sense of love towards that person may be “all that is needed” at that particular time, depending upon God’s leading. Later, God may use that love to help that person come to know him intimately or to draw close to him if he already is a Christian).
This is what we read was God’s word to Ezekiel the prophet on that day when God commissioned him: “Then he said to me, Son of man, take into your heart all my words which I am about to say to you, and let your ears be open to them. And go now to those who have been taken away as prisoners, to the children of your people, and say to them, This is what the Lord has said; if they give ear or if they do not.” (Ezekiel 3:10-11) Note that God said that even if they didn’t listen to Ezekiel’s message, that he was to still tell them (in love, yet also with a sense of holy boldness)! Warning: Not all of our hearers will be very receptive to our message — in fact, just to test us, God may very well put us in a very “uncomfortable situation” like I found myself that day. Personally, I would have rather not shared with him and risk him getting offended or complaining to Human Resources about this man who “is bugging me with his religion.” But take heed! THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN WE HAVE TO KEEP SHARING AND KEEP SPILLING OUT THE WORDS FROM OUR MOUTH EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT BEING APPARENTLY APPRECIATED BY THE OTHER PERSON. IT WILL BE GOD’S COMMAND WORKING THROUGH US, AND THE UNCTION (CLEAR LEADING FROM GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT) WILL SIMPLY NOT DIE DOWN OR ABATE UNTIL WE HAVE “FINISHED THE JOB” FOR WHICH GOD HAS SENT US AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME). This is what God is saying here to Ezekiel! It can be hard.
At the moment I heard it, I knew that I could not shy away from such an urgent call. Usually, I feel no such sense of deep, impending, urgency to do what God is asking me to do. I am not sure why. I feel perhaps this was a very difficult situation for me, and I was “stuck” — caught by God, as it were — to do his will. It was really a test for me. “I the Lord am the searcher of the heart, the tester of the thoughts, so that I may give to every man the reward of his ways, in keeping with the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10) This day was different. I really felt it. Because of this sense of urgency, it led me to think, “This man’s days must be numbered. It’s as though he’s going to be taken soon, really without warning. God is saying to me, “Please share with this man now. I love him very much. Yes, he is rebellious. Yet, the message is so important. Show me that you are someone I can rely upon to DO AS I SAY WHEN I SAY IT.” I must admit, this is something I am always trying to teach my son. Am I, though, as obedient to God as I would like my son to be to me in this area? I’m afraid not always.
“God, help us to hear your voice today. Help us to obey you when you call. We know that as we do, you will pour out your spirit upon us and make your thoughts known to us, so as to give us an abiding sense of satisfaction that this world cannot offer.” “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2) “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” (Jeremiah 7:23). “He who has my laws and keeps them, he it is who has love for me: and he who has love for me will be loved by my Father, and I will have love for him and will let myself be seen clearly by him.” (John 14:21)