the weblog of Alan Knox

When God steps in unexpectedly…

Posted by on Apr 19, 2007 in blog links | 3 comments

I have read a couple of posts over the last few days that have been very encouraging and challenging to me.

In the first, Brandon from “Eleutheros“, in a post called “A stranger ministry” recalls a time recently when God brought a stranger into his life. Are you ready to minister (“serve”) anyone that God brings across your path. This is how Brandon concludes:

As I walked out of the restaurant I said to God, “Now that’s what I’m talking about, that’s my idea of ministry.”…His response? “Mine too.” That’s not to knock other forms of ministry or elevate myself in any way. But I believe that God is calling me to build relationships with people to help in leading them to the Truth. I don’t know if this man will receive Christ. That’s not my responsibility. My responsibility is to represent Christ to this man and let the Holy Spirit draw him to Jesus.

Are we “representing” Christ at all times to all people with our words and actions? Or, are we simply “presenting” Christ with our words? Perhaps, as we begin to live what we believe and when we allow God to use us at all times – even inconvenient times – we may run into more of these stranger ministries.

Similarly, John, from “Hungry and Thirsty“, in a post called “Rosio” recalls a time when he and a friend physically stepped between a sister in Christ whom they had just met and possible physical harm. John says:

But the victory of the morning wasn’t in merely Rosio temporarily averting a threatening situation nor was simply in the words of encouragement and counsel we were able to give afterward. The victory God was orchestrating was one of reconnection. It was that in the midst of her critical moment, Bob and I were able to simply stand with Rosio in Jesus’ name. We joined her in what was, for her, an emotionally overwhelming moment of need. We were a small voice of encouragement, a presence through which God whispered to her, “As these are with you, so I am with you… and even much more.” It was a reminder and an invitation to Rosio to embrace His call toward reconnection. A call to live a life, not alone and in fear, but encouraged, connected, and truly alive, in the organically interconnected kingdom reality Jesus offers.

John and his friend not only prayed for this lady, they also stood together in the path of danger with a stranger – a stranger that also happened to be their sister. This is how Christ works through his body. He presents the need, and empowers and enables his people to meet that need. Are we ready for Christ to use us to meet the needs of any brother and sister that he may bring across our path?

Please take the time to read these short testimonies of God’s grace in action. Then, pray with me that God will find us faithful enough to bring people in need across our paths.


3 Comments

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  1. 4-19-2007

    Yeah, that’s what it’s all about! I love that line, Alan, where it’s not about “presenting” Christ but “representing” Him. That’s the critical difference right there. God bringing us into these situations is so unpredictable, and to strive always to represent Jesus so that it is something we do even unconsciously, that’s so important. That prepares us for these encounters, and molds us more and more to Him. Thanks for posting this.

  2. 4-19-2007

    Jake,

    Representing Jesus unconsciously is an interesting concept. Thank you for bringing it up. If you don’t mind me thinking through this… Can we do this? I think so – at times… But not on our own strength or ability. When we submit to the Spirit and walk in his will, then we may represent Jesus unconsiously.

    -Alan

  3. 4-21-2007

    Absolutely, Alan, it’s an ongoing process—and ultimately an unsatisfying one, I suppose, in the human condition. But yeah, it’s definitely something that comes with time. We need to grow closer to God, and like any relationship, it takes time to develop, at least our side of it.

    Interesting thought…I just read a portion of Nehemiah 2 tonight, where somebody referred to the “Arrow Prayer” in 2:4, where, in the middle of answering a question to King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah mentions that he prays to God. This to me is that rich indwelling of the Spirit that demonstrates the closeness we need to God in order to move towards representing Him unconsciously. Nehemiah was so “into God” that even while speaking to another person he could be praying. That’s something else!