“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
“No, don’t go there” the Lord seemed to be clearly saying to me. “Go there, instead.”
“Argh…” I said within myself. My “self” didn’t want to go there. Instead, I wanted to go the “other way” which led to the cafeteria, so I could pick up some french fries (I like french fries).
But I heard the Lord, all right. So I “went there”. I went to where the Lord told me. And I had no idea why I was there. So I just stood there, gazing through one of the windows.
Soon, I overheard two women talking about some spiritual issues. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but the words were just so clear. Someone had died at a young age. It was hard for the father to take it. I could hear the word “church” being mentioned in the conversation, as well as the word “prayer”.
I thought to myself that these two women might possibly be Christians, though I didn’t know for sure. Part of me felt “impelled” or “compelled” to speak to them about Jesus. But another part of me said, “Just wait a minute”. I didn’t know what to do, so I wrote down a prayer request to God on a piece of paper, with the thought that I could give it (my prayer requests) over to God. He would hear me. He would help me to be compassionate towards these two women. If I spoke, it had to be “God”.
“That I would have courage, and understanding, and wisdom, when it comes to speaking to people about Jesus”, I wrote on the piece of paper.
I knew that God had heard me. He would help me. I felt a change occuring in my spirit. Perhaps God would even lead me to speak to these two women. Had he not called me here for a purpose? I needed to be responsive to his call.
Rather unsuspectingly (to me), all of a sudden I found that the words were just “coming out of my mouth” — yes, it was that simple. This was not the timid, or shy, person that had originally walked into that room. It was a “new me”. It was “Christ in [me], the hope of glory”. (Colossians 1:27) Yes, I was called to minister to these two women, at such a time as this. God gave me a word for them. It was a word of compassion, and understanding. Perhaps they would share it with the one whom they knew to be suffering. Perhaps it would strengthen them, in their own walk with the Lord.
As I soon discovered, I was also able to encourage one of the two to actually trust the Lord herself, because she had not yet come to put her faith in him. I can honestly say that the words flowed from my lips, in the most gracious and unsuspecting of manners, effortlessly. This truly was Christ at work within me. This was not my “self” — it was certainly not the “self” that had originally not even wanted to come into this room!
During the next five minutes, I was able to share with them about an experience that I myself had in which God made it clear to me that he knows all. And he understands. We need to keep our focus on him, and not on our circumstances. We need to have faith. We must not allow the circumstances around us to pull us away from having faith in a God who can be trusted at all times! The message of course, was much longer than that. But that was the essence of it. In the end, I was able to close off with a passage from Job. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” (Job 13:15)
There was peace in the air. God had done a work that day. It was an incredible work. And I think that I was the most amazed person of all. For it was not “me” who did the talking. It was “Christ in [me], the hope of glory” as it says in Colossians 1:27.
I pray that “Christ in me” and “Christ in all of us” would be able to do his work through each and every one of us who is called by his name, both today, and always. It is Jesus Christ in me, and Jesus Christ in you, that will make a difference in our world. He wants to use you and me.
May God bless you and encourage you with these words.