Originally shared 10/26/15
I’ve always had the desire to share the Good News of Jesus with people I encounter; I just didn’t know how to do it. I’ve read books (a favorite is Out of the Saltshaker & into the World), and I’ve searched stories of people who witness to others, but nothing helped with the conversations I was having. You see, I was missing THE most important component, the Holy Spirit.
In the past, I was literally forcing the conversation when it really didn’t fit. It was awkward & it was uncomfortable–for us both.
So recently, I’ve prayed for boldness to share Christ & to be sensitive to when His Spirit prompts. I wait upon the Lord before moving forward with a conversation about Him. I’d love to share with you how it is very different when I am obedient to do this….
This particular day a couple of months ago, I had prayed for boldness & sensitivity to the Spirit while I was getting ready for my day. The day had really passed like any other day, until I was at Publix (no surprise there, right?!) and unloading my cart onto the conveyor belt. This was when I felt the unmistakable nudge from above.
Now, let’s talk about what that means with me. You know when you are on a roller coaster, and your gut feels like it has sank to your feet? Yep, that. That’s what I do when I feel the Spirit nudging me. It’s different for everyone, and boy, I wish it was different for me. I hate roller coasters & I like my gut to stay right where it is, thank you very much.
No!, I thought. Not now. It’s crowded tonight, and I’ve got way too many coupons! (Being behind a couponer in line is not a pleasant place to be for some people.) But, okay, I will be obedient. So, I consented to the Spirit and voiced a silent prayer letting God know that I was willing to go wherever He led the conversation.
As I stood at the checkout station, I wondered how in the world this door of conversation was going to open, when the cashier, a young guy in his early 20’s, (we’ll call him “Young Publix Guy” or YPG for short) replied back a greeting when a gentlemen walking by said “hello” to him.
I said, “How nice that customers are so friendly here.”
He said, “Well, he goes to my church.”
Me: “What church do you go to?” He told me that he attended a local Baptist church.
Me: “Oh thank goodness! I was feeling totally prompted by the Holy Spirit to share my faith, but you’ve already heard the gospel! Now, I don’t have to.”
Being real with you all, relief poured over me, and I asked him, “Why is it that we are so timid to share the Good News of Christ with others?”
(Remember that look that people give me when I mention Jesus? Like if I just dropped a horrible cuss word? Well, insert that look here from the folks in the crowded line.)
YPG looked at me like I had grown two heads & I don’t think he knew just how to respond to me (familiar territory with me), so I continued, “You know, if there were a meteorite headed this way and all these folks were in danger, we’d be sharing like wildfire to warn people, but we don’t do that with the Gospel.”
YPG says, “That’s so true. Something to think about.”
At this point, the bagger, a seasoned gentleman (We’ll call him Seasoned Publix Guy, SPG for short), asked me, “Have you been able to totally submit to God & His plans for you?”
Me after reflecting for a moment: “Actually, I have, but it wasn’t an easy prayer to say. I have children, and saying that prayer meant that if God called me somewhere away from them, I would have to go, but yes, I’ve done it, have you?”
SPG: “Oh, no ma’am. I can’t do that yet. But, I’m learning more about Him everyday.”
Me: “That’s a wonderful place to start.”
And since the transaction was finished, we said our goodbyes & goodnights & the “come again soons” and it ended there. It wasn’t awkward. It wasn’t forced. It was actually pleasant. Even with the wide eyes I received. This was because it was the Holy Spirit & not me. Learning from this, I’ve let the Spirit take the driver’s seat & allow Him to lead me, so I can follow where He’s already been working & preparing the way.
The next week during my shopping trip, I caught eyes with YPG from a few check-out lines away. He waved & smiled. He remembered. And maybe, just maybe, he’s been bold enough to share with others that have come through his line.
I don’t know exactly what the Spirit was doing through the conversation, but that’s not for me to know. All I have to know is that I need to be sensitive & obedient when the Spirit prompts. I know that there have been so many times that I have failed at this, and that’s why I’m so very glad that God’s mercies are new each morning.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Have you received the power of the Holy Spirit by submitting your life to Christ? If so, you can ask to be led. Tap into that power. You just might be the one to carry a message to someone that will change their life for all eternity. How awesome is that?!