Count it a joy and a privilege that we are called by God to do the divine work in our world. Yet, God can do that work without our help. If our faith is really something worth defending and pursuing we must believe that it is also a belief that can defend itself and that God will ensure that it will never die.
Previously I wrote that God is responsible for the changed heart, and that our duty is to honor God by tending to our divine purpose as people of God. In Romans 11 and 12 Paul challenges us to honor God by becoming “living sacrifices” which does not mean being accomplished, but being useful to God and laying down our own will. We cannot take the credit for something that we do as we sacrifice ourselves.
In the past several weeks I have met a number of people through conversations prompted by my posts here. One such conversation is with a woman called Phillipa. On her blog she writes about her own experience of being pursued by God. Here is just a brief but beautiful clip from her story:
“No one tried to convert me; instead, through his searching and questions, God used [my husband] to remind me of His faithfulness, His love, His promises and His presence. So, to quote C.S. Lewis ‘I gave in, and admitted that God was God.'”
Phillipa was not “evangelized” nor did she find God by reading a track. She found God because God found her and called out to her. In that sense she turned around and let God catch her.
How do we explain this? How is it that so many people have these kinds of stories, yet we continue to pursue people with ineffective methods that actually tend to push people away. That is what we find in Phillipa’s story.
What we forget is it is God that is chasing us. We believe in a God who comes; God came to save Noah and his family, Lot from the destruction of Sodom, Jacob’s family from famine, Israel from the bondage of slavery, and the world from the bondage of sin. I believe in a God who woos, and who grants us the honor of being a part of that love affair.
Paul calls us to be “living sacrifices” which means that we die to what we think is best and live for what God thinks is best. He explains how to do this in Romans 12:1 when he challenges us to not live in the habit of the world, not to go through life with hum-drum on our minds and lips. Instead we are to continually change the way that we think about life, our world, and the way that God is active in it. If we look for God, we will find God, that is if we are seeking with everything we are. As we seek God and become more like Him, we increase the obvious nature of God’s presence on earth.
As we focus on God, our pursuit alone becomes the most effective witness.