God's Perfect Timing is Different for Us All
31 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
GOD is patient with us. He wants us to be patient with others.
Darla worked with Susan for several years. They went to lunch often. Laughed a lot and got along great. They saw a movie or two together, went for ice cream and met for coffee occasionally. Susan loved the Lord and she so longed for Darla to know Him too. Susan prayed for Darla, but she had not every truly asked her if she knew Christ and Darla had never brought up the subject of faith before. Susan wanted to, but she never felt the perfect timing. Until that day at dinner.
As Darla was speaking of her memories of her father before his death, Susan found herself asking Darla if her Dad was a Christian. Darla asked "why"? So, Susan began to share how Jesus had given His life, so that we could be with Him forever. Darla immediately recoiled. In her mind, God had let her Dad die when she was 16, right when she really needed Him most. She said these word to Susan with great resentment in her voice. Darla then got her composure and changed the subject. Susan and Darla never met for coffee or dinner or anything again. Darla began to avoid her at work and then she left the company. Susan felt she had made a mistake by not telling Darla earlier.
Has that ever happened to you?You make a friend and once you share Jesus with them, they back off? It can be hurtful because your heart loves them and wants them to know how much Jesus loves them.
Many of us have a great zeal for Christ and our passion is to share that good news to others who need His gift of salvation. Though we may not realize it, we can often come across as appearing like we have all the answers and others are just "lost or deceived". We know this is the enemy's scheme to keep them from the LIVING GOD, but we must never present God as if WE are the ones setting the standard. We must remember that God loves them and He is patient to wait on them until they can truly HEAR and ACCEPT Him. Perfect love casts out fear.
Building your relationship with someone unsaved is key to being able to reach them with the love of Christ. I'm not saying make them a confidant or go to them for spiritual advice, but be a friend. Live a life pleasing to God before them.
Relationship establishes trust between the two of you. You begin to care about one another. And, soon, what matters to you begins to matter to them. That is when you may have the chance to let them know how you feel about Christ. Not throwing it in their face as "you need to hear truth", but as "this is me and I want you to know me." Issues may be discussed, such as abortion, and you might have the chance to share why you don't believe in it. Don't be dogmatic, but be strong and firm with love for them as you present your thoughts. Loving them does not mean you can't share who you are, but you must do it in a way that does not seem to put them down because they do not share your beliefs.
Jesus met with sinners. He ate with them. He told them He was the Messiah. He didn't hang out with them in their own sin. They were changed by His love and followed Him. I don't think Jesus would have gone to R-rated movies with them, but He might have met them for dinner afterwards. He didn't stray from His Father, but instead gave them the LOVE OF THE FATHER and they were changed.
I used to say when someone got filled with the Holy Spirit they needed to be locked up for a good year to keep them from sending others to hell with their unbridled zeal. I was like that. I remember telling my Mom that she was wasting her life "just being a stay at home mom" when the whole world was dying without Jesus. How foolish I was. My unbridled zeal for moving into the Holy Spirit needed to be nurtured and matured. I later saw how judgmental and unloving that was for me to say to my Mom.
Take time with those that don't know your Jesus. He put you in their life for a purpose. Be patient as He is patient. Live your life before them in obedience and JOY.
HAVE SOMETHING THEY WANT!
LET HIS LIGHT SHINE THROUGH YOU! No words needed.
HIS TIMING IS PERFECT
All He's asking you for is obedience and to love them. He will take care of the when. Pray for wisdom and discernment. He will not leave you without it.
And, Darla.........well, Susan got a call two years after Darla had left her the company. Darla's teenage son had been in a auto accident and was critical condition in the hospital. She called Susan crying asking her to come pray for her son and just be with her. It was then her heart was ready to hear the truth of God's love for her.
GOD WORKS IN HIS WAYS. NOT OURS..
Treasuring You Always,