Don’t be fooled. The short, 5-minute, conversation you have today with that contractor working right next to you could have profound effects in his life — even without mentioning the name of Christ to him. At least, that is the experience I myself had with a contractor just recently, whom I met in the cafeteria, while waiting for a cue from the Lord as to ‘what I should do next.’ (It seemed that what the Lord was getting at was that I should strike up a conversation with this man, so I did.) The conversation went something (but not quite) like this:
“They serve good hamburgers here, don’t they?” I said to the man as he was busy eating.
“Yes, not bad,” the man responded.
“So, how long have you been working here?” I said to the man.
“Oh, I’m just on contract, doing some contruction down the hall.”
“What’s your name?” I finally asked after exchanging a few more friendly words.
“Robert,” the man said to me.
“Nice to meet you, Robert,” I replied. “My name is Danny. Maybe I will bump into you again some day.”
At that, I left. I didn’t sense there was anything more to say. That was it. That was all that God had “asked” me to do. (I had that “get up and go” feeling, if you know what I mean, and I think it was God saying, “That’s okay, you’ve spoken to him enough so that you can now pray for him.”)
And that, I think is the point. Sometimes — oftentimes, I feel — it is not so much the need to actually speak the name of Christ, or talk about Christ, or even reveal Christ to the person in a human way. The person may not be ready. Our timing may be way off and naming Christ’s name may be completely out of “sync” with what the Spirit is trying to perform at that point in time.
No, but what does the Bible say?
“John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” (John 3:27)
[Jesus said] “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” (John 6:44a)
The point here is that, unless God actually causes that person to “see” who Jesus is, our words will be fruitless. We can name the name of Christ as much as we want, but if the leading to do so does not come from God, we are wasting our breath!
In some cases, to speak the name of Christ would put us in jeopardy, causing harm to our ability to actually “reach” that person, oftentimes setting up an unnecessary “wall” in that person’s life, etc …
Oftentimes, I fear, we “speak out of line” and do the Holy Spirit a disservice in that the person to whom we are speaking is simply NOT PREPARED to receive the message!
Instead, we ought to be extra sensitive to what exactly it is that God is doing in our midst. Is he saying, “share Christ”? Then share. Is he saying, “Don’t share Christ, but at least befriend this man, and pray for him, that his eyes might be opened”? Then do that. It all depends on the Holy Spirit. He knows best, and we must trust him in these matters.
As Jesus said, “Verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19b)
I think that really is the point of the message. May the Lord bless you as you consider these things!