Praying For a Damascus Road Experience!

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “not get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6 NIV)

Many know the story of Saul’s conversion and all the great things he accomplished as Paul. But what sticks out to me the most is the fact that as Saul, he was a religious man–full of knowledge and zeal, without relationship with God. After his Damascus road experience, he was yet full of knowledge and zeal, in relationship with God, without being religious. And that’s the place we all need to be–in relationship with God, not being religious. For it is in relationship with God that we hear God when he speaks. Being religious limits our ability since we are too busy trying to please men/women and doing what they say God is saying to them. These are the modern day Pharisees and Sadducees–the religious leaders who in their zeal to control others, have missed hearing God and pleasing Him.

Father, in the name of Jesus,

I pray for the unbelieving, the doubters, the atheists, the agnostics, and all who by any other label, deny your existence and the Deity of Your Son.

Create for them, O God, an experience in which the light of truth will guide their paths to You so they’ll have a testimony of their own Damascus Road revelation. Provide them with knowledgeable people in their lives who can and will teach them Your truths and not the religious ideology that permeates the earth, yet is ineffective against the enemy who wages war within and without.

Bring all to a place where they realize they need You as their provider, comforter, healer, and counselor.

Cause the scales of unbelief and doubt to fall from their eyes so they can see You in all Your glory and begin to magnify and praise You, O God.

And before this day is over, Lord, let the number of souls won to You be increased a thousand times more than there right now and even greater numbers come to You before the end of this month.

I stand in the gap–desiring only to please You and see souls saved so we can live in peace, knowing how to love one another as we love You.

Your Word whatever we ask in Jesus’ name will be given to us when we believe and not doubt. I believe souls are won as this prayer is shared and I declare it done–to the glory of the Most High. Amen!

Let Them Quibble!

“Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly” (2 Timothy 2:16 NIV).

When I hear someone or see someone use scripture out of context, I am so tempted to jump right in and correct them. The same is true when people attempt to attribute certain things to God or to belittle what God has said. I have come to the conclusion that when people want to be ignorant, there is nothing anyone else can do. So, instead of engaging in unproductive conversation, I pray for them and when opportunity presents itself, I let them know I’m praying for them.

If we engage in stupidity, we tend to become like those who initiated it and the more we talk, the leverage we give them because they know we are easily swayed. Our role, when we hear or see foolishness, is to walk away and pray. As hard as that sounds, we must make it happen. We do not wish to give the foolish, fuel to use to ignite godless chatter because that is what it will be if we engage.

A fool is known by their inability to stop talking about foolishness. Are we fools–other than for Christ? I’m not. If we simply limit our Godly conversation about His love, mercy, and grace–we have opened the door–hopefully for another opportunity to get more involved in a conversation that will yield or produce interest in someone hearing more. If we simply attempt to beat people over the head with enumerating their sins, we open the door for them to attack–with godless chatter–in defense of their behavior and we lose ground if we engage. If we really want people to receive the Good News, we need to use a balanced approach–share His love and then tell them how to be a recipient of all He has for them.

First conversation with limited time: “Hello. How are you today? May I have a few moments of your time? I’d like to share the love of God with you. God loves you and wants only the best for you.”

First conversation with more time: “Do you know the Lord as Savior? Would you like to know more? He loves you enough that He died for you and wants to make sure you have opportunity to enjoy the abundant life He has in store for you.”

Of course, these conversations will vary, but hopefully, they are enough to open the door for anyone to share the Good News. We must all remember that, “one who wins souls, must be wise.” Exercise wisdom in all things and don’t become an antagonist trying to win someone to Christ. When we become the antagonist, we give Satan opportunity to win, not us.

If people do not want to hear what we have to say, thank them for their time and move on. If they engage in ungodly conversation, let them quibble; walk away and move on. If they choose to listen, then captivate your audience with God’s love and plant a seed or water one and see God’s Kingdom grow.

Time After Time!

“You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19 NIV).

From the beginning, whenever mankind has fallen out of fellowship with God, He has relented and shown compassion and mercy towards us. He has given us chance after chance to get living right for Him.  Some of us have taken advantage of the opportunity and some have not. And yet, He waits–giving us space to repent before judgment falls upon us. Why are some waiting?

There are some people who have decided that having “fun” is more important than living right. They resent anyone attempting to tell them they should change their ways and stop doing what gives them “short-term pleasure.” Perhaps, just perhaps, the method being used to deter wrong behavior is judgment itself and when people feel like they are being judged–already–they feel no need to change. However, if the method to convince people to change is with loving-kindness, sharing all of the benefits of living for God, and proclaiming God’s love–and people see us “living the benefits” they will more likely believe us and change.

We do not have to beat people with The Word, we should love them with The Word.

We do not have to point out their sins; they know–they are just too fearful to let them go.

We do not have to judge others who are in sin–that’s not our job; we should live the life before them and encourage them to get to know Jesus.

If we say one thing and yet do another–we are hypocrites. We cannot convince others that God is love if all they ever see is condemnation from us. Sometimes, people who have been convicted of sin by others who were harsh and rigid think that is the only way to win others to Christ. I am so thankful that God’s love was showered upon me in such a way that I was ready to give up all that was not like Him, willingly because I wanted to please Him. Hallelujah! I’ve learned that pleasing God in all things is so much more important than any attempt to pacify others.

We must remember to share with others–God’s mercy, His love, His compassion, His forgiveness, His patience–in waiting for us–time after time. We must convince others–not with our words, but by our actions–that the benefits of living for God are greater than living for the world.

He had sent people to me–time after time–to show me the way–that one pathway to Him and though some of their methods did not work, He did not give up on me and sent those who had received His love to share with me, and I received–their love and God’s love–and now living with His benefits–walking in His favor.

I pray today that we’ll become those people-who have received God’s love–and will share it with others in bringing them into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. God has given us yet, another opportunity–as He has–time after time-for us to show people The Way, The Truth, and The Light of His Love.

Where Are The Wise Ones?

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives” (Proverbs 11:30 NIV).

In the Kings James Version of this verse of scripture, the words are slightly different. the last part states that “he who wins souls is wise.” The bottom line regarding both translations–it takes a wise person to win souls and save lives. Where are the wise ones?

In order to win people to Christ, we must be wise in our approach–“drawing people with loving kindness,” not brutal criticism.  If we teach The Word, based upon The Word, and demonstrate the love of God in everything we do, we will give people a reason to want to know Jesus!  If all they ever hear from us is criticism about what they wear, what they do, and when they do it, we will not draw them, but drive them far from us and any desire to want to know Jesus.  People who are able to demonstrate the love of God, accept others where they are and bring them into a fuller knowledge of Jesus Christ. People will change when they see a need to change, not because we want them to change.  Our role as Christians is to help them to want to change to honor God, not us.

In order to save lives–of all people, especially those who are not in a position to defend themselves, we must have wise people in elected positions or other positions of authority. But before we can elect wise people, those voting for them, must be wise. Voters need to know the person for whom they are voting. They need to know their positions regarding the poor, the needy, the vulnerable, senior citizens, veterans, and everyone else. For a person to vote for someone simply based upon name recognition or religious affiliation is pure foolishness. This is especially true for those who say one thing with their tongues to entice and deceive and do just the opposite with their voice and vote in legislation. Voters–the everyday people need to research and investigate the candidates running in any election. Judges need to make decisions based on the law and not popular opinion–giving into the special interest groups simply because…whatever the reason. Lawmakers need to do the right thing for all people–and stop caving to special interest groups–corporations or the mighty rich in dollars, but poor in spirit and soul. They have already been deceived by the enemy when they attempt to “buy” the rights to rule legislators

Where are the wise ones? Where are the people who truly know God and how He wants us to live? Where are the wise preachers who know how to draw people to Jesus and not drive them away? Where are the wise?

I pray that most of us need to look no further than our mirrors to see the wise, but if that is not the case; if we have been deceived and influenced by the enemy, I pray for recognition of the hand at work and willingness to do something about it–change for the better.

Lord, help us to exercise more wisdom in all that we do. Help us to recognize the enemy’s influence and to shut it down–within us and where ever we have opportunity to do so. Help us to stay focused on promoting Jesus and the Agape Love that overflows onto all who are willing to receive. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!