Monday, September 19, 2016
It's Not Me, It's You!
I have seen much in my 63 years of existence on this planet. Much of what I have seen has saddened me. Other things have brought me great joy. Marrying my wife, the births of our children, the view from a mountaintop, and seeing a bald eagle fly close by and look directly at me. All these things could be viewed as scenes in a movie - starring ME!
God is very good at humbling us when we need it. I thought I had done a pretty good job of making sure that GOD was the star of MY movie but this past week God reminded me once again that HE is the star. HE writes the scripts. HE casts the players and HE makes things happen all on HIS timetable, not mine.
I received a message this week from a young adult friend of mine saying simply, "I think I'm ready." That could mean almost anything. However, previous conversations and prayers made me hopeful that this young soul was about ready to give her life to Jesus.
I did all the right Christian things to get ready. I began to pray. I enlisted others to pray. I literally had five people praying for this person. I invited her to church and then out to lunch afterwards where I assumed we would be talking about Jesus. I was all ready to go!
Take a look at the first word in each of the sentences in the last paragraph. I-I-I-I-I-I. At that point "I" still had no clue that "I" was in the process of learning a very important lesson. No clue whatsoever.
The conversation that day with my young friend went nowhere. Jesus came up a few times in the conversation but things didn't turn out the way I had planned. We talked about how we must take a leap of faith sometimes and trust in God to catch us. But the day, and the conversation, just left me feeling empty somehow. Like I had failed God.
Meanwhile . . . everyone one who had been praying for my friend continued to do so. They didn't know my friend. They had never met her. Yet they prayed for her to receive Christ.
Four days later . . . when God felt like enough time had elapsed so I could properly see who was in control . . . I received the following message from my young friend.
"Good morning! Still thinking about that leap-of-faith talk we had."
It's not me, it's You, God. It always has been You.
"30 He must become greater; I must become less.” 31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all." - John 3:30-31
Father, please forgive me. I have walked through this life you have given me thinking there was something I could do to bring people to you. I have come to realize through this lesson you have taught me that it's not me who works miracles through some spoken word or persuasive speech. It's YOU, Lord! It's not me who baptizes, it's you! It's not us praying some sinner's prayer. No! It's YOU!!! You are the giver of life, You raise the dead back to life. Our goal should not be righteous works, it should be abiding in You. If we abide in you, Your work will happen in and through us. Lord, it's not me, it's You!!
Rethinking Outreach - Francis Chan