Hello everyone! This is Angie, and I’m grateful you could join along today as we round out Day 5, week 6! We’re almost to the finish line!
Our topic this week has been SHARE. Not the Cher “I got you, Babe”, but that topic we all learned about in Kindergarten: S-H-A-R-E.
We have indirectly answered some questions along the way this week: On Days 1-2, we considered “What is God’s story?”, as we explored the three circles. On Day 3, we answered “What is my story?”, reflecting on our 2-minute testimony. On Day 4 we pondered “Who needs to hear these stories?” and we created an Oikos (oy-kos) map. Now we have reached Day 5: Action Plan! Seems like the Batman cartoon theme song should start playing in the background right now. POW! BAM! WHIZ! Feel free to YouTube it, ya young whippersnappers.
As we arm our action plans for battle, let’s consider our scripture reading for today, which is Romans 10:18-21. In these passages, Paul is making it clear that many Jewish people have heard the message of faith in Jesus, but they have chosen to reject it. We also know that Paul pressed on, not letting it stop the spreading of the Gospel.
One biblical scholar put it this way (quote):
“Paul implies that the problem with many of the Jews was not a failure to understand the gospel but an obstinate refusal to obey it. In 10:3 he said that, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to the righteousness of God. Here in 10:21 he implies that their ignorance was culpable — they were ‘a disobedient and obstinate people’. Here it is certainly not a case of God rejecting his people — he held out his hands to them all day long — but of God’s people rejecting him.” (end quote)
That’s the thing about implementing your action plan: as you share, you may be engaging with someone, like Paul did, who will absolutely reject the message. Many who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus quickly become obstinate, or as we say in the Midwest, pig-headed, about the truth of the Gospel.
Make no mistake, you are entering into spiritual warfare. You are pushing against the darkness. Taking that first step to share can be scary. I don’t know anyone who enjoys the pain of sharing your heart only to have the message rejected. That stinks. But maybe…maybe what you share won’t be rejected. Maybe that person will be open, humble, willing to listen and dialogue. Maybe God is prepping you to join Him in bringing that unbeliever home.
Here are three steps to prime your action plan before you enter the battle:
1). Devote prayer time over your Oikos (oy-kos) map.
Seek the Lord about “the how, the when, and the who.” It’s easy to bypass this step, but it’s critical that we stay aligned with the Holy Spirit and His leading. Author Lee Strobel reminds us (quote): “Jesus always took his neighbor before the Father, before He took His Father to the neighbor.” (end quote).
2). Here’s another step we often overlook: Pray for yourself.
Pray that your heart would be humble, generous, kind, faithful. Pray that your words would be clear, concise, compassionate, compelling. Pray that your mind would quicken to scripture, quicken to words of hope and encouragement, quicken to push back lies with truth.
3). And this is probably the hardest part as you prepare for battle: Submit your action plan to the Lord and entrust the results to Him.
The Lord can and will use your action plan as you submit it to Him. But don’t be surprised if He changes the game plan or if the conversation doesn’t initially go the direction you had envisioned or practiced. Trust the Lord in the process. Submit to His will. Believe that He will go before you and that the Holy Spirit will guide the process.
Finally, may these words, written by Paul, be our battle cry and prayer.
Ephesians 6:13, The Message Paraphrase
“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”