Greg and I were talking the other day, and the subject arose about the differences between our church friends and our non-church friends. We realized after much comparison, that our church friends, as a whole, have a tendency to be defeated and needy. On the other hand, our non-church friends are more others-focused and empowered. We began to wonder, with all we have in Christ, why is there such a difference?
As a believer, Christ has offered us so much – Someone to trust in, Someone to turn to with our anxiety, Someone to give ourselves to so that we might be stronger. He has equipped us with armor to survive each day, and has given us Himself so that we might do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Notice is says strengthen us. Not render us to a state of self-consumption and neediness, but make us strong. Yet so many of us don’t exercise the authority biblically given to us through Him.
Maybe as Christians we bring everything to God, as He says to, but in the process of doing so we lose the power and authority given to us for our daily lives. The enemy so seductively has twisted our thinking from “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” to “I can’t do anything without being a mindless robot just begging for God to tell me what to do every second of the day, to the point I can’t use the brain He gave me to make any decisions for myself at all.” Maybe my non-Christian friends don’t trust in God, don?t have that comfort and satisfaction that comes from Him alone. But they know how to battle and conquer. They can fight their negative emotions. Endure under pressure at work. Not grumble and complain to any open ear that will hear. Maybe as Christians it is we who have lost the ability to fight, and instead seek to be rescued from every single problem that most of the time, is brought on by own doing. God is Deliverer, but He also calls us to fight and has sufficiently equipped us to do so.
My biggest witness to my non-Christian friends is to show them how much better life is with Christ. If I cam continually defeated, negative, needy and self-consumed, well then?what kind of witness is that? If I’m not living a more abundant and satisfying life, then why bother with Christ at all?
I still pray for my non-Christian friends to know Jesus, of course. And I?m realizing I need to be more intentional and aggressive in winning them to the Lord. At the same time, I am allowing God to teach me through them. That sometimes I have to do some work, and not sit back and wait for Divine Intervention at every turn. I have not been given authority and armor for each day to not use it. Paul doesn’t tell us to “roll over and play dead,” but to “fight the good fight.” Thank God He is always teaching, through any means necessary, to get His point across to His children. Keep speaking, Lord!