The Ultimate Power Source
The other day I found an old electric razor in a forgotten cabinet. Because my current razor is not working well, I decided to plug the old one in. At first nothing happened. I almost gave up before it occurred to me that the battery in this razor had been away from a power source for a long time. But after waiting a bit, the charging indicator light came on. That old razor is now functioning just as it was designed to do.
Many of us know the heartbreak that happens when the people we love the most do not walk closely with God in a personal, saving relationship. We long for them to live lives of purpose and meaning before God in this life and to have the blessed assurance of eternal life to come. Truly, the stakes are high indeed!
It is comforting, then, to be reminded that things that have been separated from their power source, even for a long time, can come to life. People who have shown no interest in God can suddenly and unexpectedly get plugged in. Connected to the Holy Spirit, the ultimate power source, their charging indicator light flickers on. Life flows in to what seemed dead and beyond reach.
I cherish Isaiah 30:18 – “the Lord longs to be gracious to you” (NIV). The Lord longs to know us, to be in relationship with us. That is the essence of Jesus’ mission. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Waiting for the people we love to get connected to God requires patience – and that often is not easy. As the old joke says, we need patience and we need it now! So we lean into the patience of God, who is not rushed in his outreach to us. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that “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.”
However, our patient waiting is not only passive. God delights in working through us to achieve his purposes. First, your life is your testimony. Is your life in Christ winsome and attractive? Does your manner of life point people to Jesus? One effective way to disciple others is to attend to our own discipleship, our own spiritual formation.
Second, and equally important, our patient waiting can be filled with the active ministry of prayer. In his wonderful book Understanding Christian Mission, Scott Sunquist says:
Evangelism is a matter of discernment and prayer, relationship with the Triune God, and linking that relationship with our neighbor. In building bridges from the heart of God to the heart of our neighbor we will be living in prayer, interceding on behalf of others. This is the priestly and most important work of evangelism (page 333).
Easter Sunday is soon upon us. That brings a rare moment of cultural awareness of and interest in the Christian faith. More than usual, people will be thinking about Jesus and his resurrection. More than usual, people will attend church. Let us think of Easter as not only jubilant celebration for the faithful (though it certainly is that!). As well, let us yearn and pray for Easter to be the moment for people to discover that God longs to be gracious to them. For Easter to be the decisive occasion for people to get plugged into God. For Easter literally to be the day when the dead come to life – Jesus, and all of us.
David Lenz, Lead Pastor