During our Bible study last week, an interesting verse was revealed. In I Peter, we're told to be ready to give an answer when someone ASKS us about the difference seen in us. This was different than what I was used to growing up. I remember as a young child, I was encouraged to tell everyone I saw about Jesus. Somehow, and I don't quite recall how, I gathered that I was supposed to MAKE people listen to me when i would tell them about Jesus. Another preacher would laughingly refer to this as running them up the flagpole to get away from us. Looking back, I suppose we were nothing more than one of those annoying people that we would go a mile out of our way to avoid.
What a relief, knowing that I was never told by GOD to run people down and force them to listen while I preached Jesus to them. Reading through the gospels, we never see Jesus himself forcing people to listen. If they listened, fine. If not, He kept on, and the non-listeners were free to leave if they wanted to. That's pretty much what we get to do. Not only do we not have to run people down, we are not responsible for their response. Isn't that great? Don't you love not having a deadline set by God? Life as a Christian sure is a lot less stressful when we don't have to worry about meeting Godly deadlines or quotas. The results are better, too. Since I've stopped gutting it out for God, and simply remained available, He's seen fit to send me fellowship, taught me more of His truth, His way, and not what I thought His truth was. Yep, just been able to chillax since He's taken over.
What about you? Are you striving and working yourself into a tizzy, trying to make God proud of you, or trying at the very least not to make Him angry? I'd like to invite you to come to Him. He's already sent the invitation in Matthew, but I'm just giving a reminder that the offer still stands. He will give you rest for your soul NOW, and not simply wait for you to get to Heaven. Go ahead....throw away those deadlines and quotas. God has it handled. Time to kick back and rest.