Divine surprises come at the most unexpected time, in the most unusual place, sometimes with the most unlikely person.
In John 4, Jesus is teaching His disciples how to see and accomplish extraordinary vision while living ordinary lives.
There are three questions I ask myself constantly.
- How far can you see? Vision
- How deep can you feel? Compassion
- How far are you willing to go? Action
Jonathan Cahn states in The Book of Mysteries:
"Where you look is where you will go" and "that which you dwelt on will be that which you will dwell in."
What is your vision? What is your calling? What are you looking at? What are you thinking about?
Maintaining focused vision is a constant challenge. There is a balance required in navigating the structure and schedule of life vs. the observation of God's visionary opportunities. Routine gets the daily work done, but vision is necessary to maximize opportunities we had never anticipated.
There are three dynamics at work involved in the believer's daily life: worship, fellowship and relationship.
When Christians encounter God, it is "worship."
When Christians enjoy each other, it is "fellowship."
When Christians engage the lost, it is "relationship."
How do we keep these three in balance? Discipleship. This is the supernatural power of abundant living in connecting worship, fellowship and relationship.
Often, the closer we get to heaven as Christians, the less we want to interact with people who are lost and on their way to hell. I have heard believers say that they almost feel contaminated talking to someone who is lost. Discipleship helps us rethink this vital third dynamic of relationship.
The first week of this series, we introduced the battle for "vision." Last week, we explored the first stage of vision "observation."
This week, we look at "conversation"—talking with people who are lost is releasing one of the greatest elements to expanding the kingdom of God in discipleship.
Jesus started a conversation with the Samaritan women at the well at the point of both their needs. She needed to draw water from the well, and He needed a drink of water from the well. With one question, Jesus launched a conversation that would transform her life and unlock the heart of an entire city. "May I have a drink of water?" (see John 4:7).
She returned the question with one of her own: "Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (John 4:9a). She focused on divisions, classifications and labels that separate people.
When talking to people about Jesus, always remember difference and doctrine divide. The focus is not on what divides us but on who unites us. Jesus is the great unifier and includer. Jesus is the center of evangelism, not doctrine and dogma.
Jesus immediately brought her attention to the gift of eternal life and Himself. Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water" (John 4:10).
Will there be differences? Of course.
Are there issues that need to be addressed? Surely.
Yet, often the body of Christ undermines the conversation before it can even get going because of our inflexibility.
Here are four simple steps about conversation with the lost that will help us find our Holy Spirit boldness as His witness.
- Never forget where you came from. We were all lost until we met Jesus. This awareness gives us a point of common ground whether the other person recognizes it or not.
- The patience of listening and learning their story. The story will give the conversation the legitimacy of compassion.
- Watch for the supernatural moment. Don't get preachy; rather, share your story of God's abundant grace and see how the Holy Spirit unlocks hurting hearts.
- Seize openings with heartfelt prayer with the person and for the person.
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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