Do you ever feel like a lamb among the wolves?
Maybe, like me, you had a job where you were allowed to talk about anything and everything except Jesus. Or maybe, you've moved into inner circles with people you admire, or people who hold your career, your reputation, your future in their hands (think bosses, professors, colleagues, classmates) and you don't talk about Jesus in that context, for fear that you'll be on the outside once again.
It's time to stop feeling sheepish about your faith! These passages from 1 Peter and Luke offer a way forward, a way into serving this city for the glory of God, and yes, talking about Jesus. Not just talking about Him, but bringing healing and deliverance in His name.
That's the thing - we are often so afraid to talk about the gospel with our peers and others because we assume they won't want to hear it - we conjure up plenty of imaginary wolves, waiting to devour us if we speak of God publicly.
But this city is ripe - riper than you think. Lately, people have been asking me about Jesus - and I've been amazed at how open they are to hearing about my faith and what God has done in my life. Just in this last month, I've been seriously questioned about my faith from a handful of unexpected people; the people I've signed off on as atheist intellectuals and happily uninterested; people I thought I could talk about everything and anything but Jesus with. We'll be sitting in a coffee shop, discussing some political theory or literary criticism, and then, out of the blue: "You seem to have found a peaceful way to live your life. Tell me about it." or "I consider myself an atheist, but I really want to know more about your faith and what you believe. You have so much peace."
We are not called to hunt, but to gather - gather the abundant harvest that is all around us, catch the ripe fruit falling from the trees - if only we would take the time to see and hear what God sees and hears when he looks for the lost:
"I praise you, Father, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to little children...blessed are the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many kings and prophets wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it." (Luke 10:21, 23)
Luke 10 and 1 Peter 2 remind us that we don't have to go barrelling through this world, making enemies and offending others in order to share the gospel. The gospel is offensive (in the best way possible) all on its own.
Rather, we are to be like humble and respectful servants to those in authority, willing to see what God sees about this city, walking among the wolves (self-imposed and real) for the sake of His kingdom: "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God..." (1 Peter 2:12)
We are called to enter into conversation, into homes, into situations and first say, "Peace to this house." (Luke 10:5) We are called to speak words of peace to this frantic city, and bring healing and deliverance. To gently point out: "The kingdom of God has come near to you." (Luke 10:9).
Take some time today to ask the Lord to open your eyes to the places where you are called to go, or make you aware of the people who are all around you, who, underneath it all, are yearning to talk about Jesus, who are hungry for healing and a word of peace, and who sense that God's kingdom is near, but need someone with the vocabulary of faith to help them recognize it.
Listen like a child full of faith, go like a lamb willing to follow, and offer your service to the kingdom with grace and submission.
- Sarah Kift