Freedom in Christ makes no sense to a non-Christian. He thinks, “freedom from religion.” Christianity is not just a religion. It’s a relationship with Jesus. It’s coming to Him for forgiveness and life. It’s allowing His Spirit to come into our lives and make us right with God and then make us LIKE God. It’s an interaction between God and us that is familial now. We are His children!
When a lost person thinks about Christianity, what is shown to him by the Enemy?
We Christians sometimes reinforce this way of thinking in our efforts to be more Christlike by expecting non-Christians to want to please Christ as we do. We tend to think that they think like we do about Christ. But, their hearts are dead, unregenerated, and self-centered. Their thoughts are darkened and without light. They are in the Enemy’s camp and are enemies of the cross of Christ (see Ephesians 2:1-3). Hence, Freedom in Christ becomes a secret that we inadvertently keep from lost people.
What should we do?
- Pray. In our conversation with God, as we practice our freedom in Christ to come boldly to the throne of the Father, we lift up the unaware, the struggling, and the resistant, to God and stand in the gap for them. We intercede for them with the Father for His Spirit to convict them of their sin, to make them aware of His righteousness and their need for it, and to understand the coming judgement of the Enemy and all who follow him. Here is a suggested format:
- Pray for a famine in their lives, one that is literal or simply relational; may they sense a hole in themselves spiritually.
- Pray for conviction over sin, that they see it as sin and wrongdoing. May they see the damage it’s doing/has done.
- Pray for a hedge of protection between them and those who are aiding them, supplying them and holding them in their sinful condition.
- Pray for a crisis of belief where they question how they are living and the possibility of God.
- Pray for godly people to cross their paths. They need examples and people to share the truth about Christ with them.
- Pray that they would make a decision to give their lives to Christ and to follow Him from now on.
- Here’s the hard one: Pray for God to do whatever it takes to get their attention.
- Go–when led to do so.
- Always intercede: Go to the throne of grace on their behalf.
- Through cards an texts.
- Invite them to various venues that share the Gospel.
- In crisis. Be available to talk, bring food, give money, mow their lawn, fix a sink, etc.
- Tell them about Jesus through stories in your own life. Share snippets and nuggets. Whet their appetite.
- Present the Gospel ONLY when appropriate. When is that? When they ask for it.
- Pray for others to influence them. We are a team.
- Be ready to encourage them and to be their cheerleader. We are come-alongsiders. At the same time, we must not fudge on our convictions (the leading of the Spirit) nor take part in their sin “in order to reach them for Christ.” It doesn’t work like that. In fact, our refusal to join them usually becomes the very thing that the Spirit uses to convict them of sin. We are to exemplify a joyful, compassionate, and non-judging Jesus, the same One who saved us.
We must remember that salvation is up to God. There is no magic formula, nor can we approach it like a sale: We don’t present our case and then the person buy it. Without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, His wooing and calling, His urging and prompting, there can be no salvation. A person isn’t even interested without it. In fact, he cannot perceive the truth about Jesus and salvation without it. Jesus must make Himself known to them. HE must call them, and they must respond. We pray for both: For Jesus to call them and for them to hear and respond. It’s what we are called to do. The rest is between Jesus and them.
Let’s be ambassadors for Christ today. Let us live as children of light and as followers of The Way. Let’s follow Jesus wherever He leads.
Abba, as I read through the words of, “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go,” for this Sunday’s Time of Introspection, I felt You confirming in me once again my own decision to follow You wherever You lead. I have taken up my cross and I am following You. “My heart, my life, my all I bring to Christ who loves me so. He is my Master, Lord, and King, wherever He leads I’ll go.” What a great verse, Lord. I consider it my own. Lead on, my King. Amen.