The Fast Food Christian
There’s an interesting phenomenon that has overtaken the church. I want to say the “black church” but I don’t know if it affects the black church only (as that’s the majority of my life experience) so lets say the church.
It’s the idea that God is a person who, because of His unmatchable and limitless power, can do anything and everything (this is in fact true!). As a result of this, we EXPECT Him to be able to do wonders and miracles – at our behest.
We could say that it’s a symptom of the “microwave culture” we have in society but I think it’s more than that. Yes, microwaves can cook [some] food[s] (I’m not adventurous enough to find out what more it can do besides reheat) but fast food is the idea that you can order and have your food ready within a couple of minutes while you wait at the counter.
Normally when people discuss this, they are referring to how we (en)treat God and I know this sounds similar but I’d like to focus on God’s primary care: The Ministry of Reconciliation (aka evangelism). We are called, first and foremost, to reconcile men to Christ – to win souls!
Withstanding the false barrier of concern that we have in England where we don’t want to inquire into people’s lives for fear of prying, there is also a fear of evangelising because we don’t know how to challenge/confront/interrupt the lives of others to find out if they need rescuing from the jaws of Death.
What this has led to is a generation of ill-equipped ministers who do not know how to engage the lost effectively. We’ve seen the follies of previous generations, understood where they’ve executed evangelism poorly but failed to deliver robust Spirit-led alternatives/solutions. On the other side of this coin is a growing impatience and restlessness that is creeping into the church (although it’s probably running around freely by now). One that gets the average believer believing s/he can be all things to the unsaved.
We are no longer satisfied to minister to the lost in parts; but now, we want the whole and nothing less. We want the time we minister to somebody to be the time they hear the word for the first time and the time they got saved all in one – as if God works like that!
Yes, sometimes that may happen. It is, however, some of the time. Most times, you are building on The Word that another has dropped into their heart already. We cannot expect to be the ground tiller, the planter, the one who waters, the grower and the harvester. That’s just unreasonable!
If we are told that Paul plants, Apollo waters and God gives increase (1Corinthians 3:6-7); who told us that the norm is planting and watering? Everybody has a job to do in the kingdom as we work towards making the body grow (Ephesians 4:16).
We shouldn’t be discouraged by rejections when we get knocked back as much as we shouldn’t expect that everybody we speak to will be saved there and then. If you still have contact with those you’ve brought into the true sheepfold of Christ, ask them when they first heard God’s Word and chances are, it was not from you. You likely were the vessel that delivered the final word of conviction, leading to conversion but let’s make every effort to shed off all arrogance that makes us believe we have any ability to influence how somebody is converted – it is The Spirit who does the work, our job is to merely be open to being used.
Finally, be encouraged by the current state of affairs in the world. Matthew 9:37-38 and Luke 10:2 deliver the same words of encouragement to us from our Lord Jesus the Christ:
“Then He said to them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that He may send forth laborers into His harvest.”
The harvest is great! Jesus has said it… the harvest is GREAT!! The sowing, the watering, the increase has already taken place. What is the missing element?! The labourers – that is, you and I. The souls are ready to listen, they are ready to accept Christ (don’t let ANYBODY tell you otherwise – Christ has said so Himself)!
The more souls we save/rescue for the kingdom, the greater the labour force we have at our disposal. If you read Ruth 2:16-17, you’ll realise that during harvesting, it is not uncommon for labourers to fail to gather all of the harvest (of course in this case, this was intentionally excessive) so they work in rows with the ones behind catching the ones missed by the ones who came before.
Let us pray that we each find a personal desire and deep longing to do that which God is ALWAYS blessing – the reconciliation of souls. Let us pray that we can commit to the labour force and He can show us where this truly great harvest is that we may reap and add souls to the kingdom.
If I do my part and you do you part, prayerfully and faithfully, we shall be truly surprised by what The Lord will show us. If you want to be blessed by God, THIS is what He will ALWAYS bless. Do this faithfully and He will demonstrate what He meant in Matthew 6:33.
Remember, God is rooting for you. He wants you to WIN!