Monday, February 26, 2007

Discipleship and Fire Hydrants

When I was much younger and ill experienced at the task of disciple making I had a tendency to overwhelm the people I was in contact with. How I wish I knew then what I know now.

One example was when a friend wanted to know about my faith in Jesus Christ. Immediately I blasted him with everything I knew about the Bible and all the good stuff that I thought I needed to download on him.

Without let up I kept coming with verse, illustration, testimony and story. I did not know then but my friend was being smothered. More accurately he was being sprayed by my words (sometimes saliva).

My zeal and desire to testify to him about Jesus was driving him away from me instead of drawing him closer.

The truth was all he wanted was a glass of water. Instead I blasted him with my hose attached to a fire hydrant. By the time I was done the poor guy had water in his nostrils, ears, eyes, mouth and his clothes were wet. The last thing he wanted was to see me again.

I think as Christians we sometimes overdo things because we think the whole world is on fire. As such we neeed to hose it down. Whatever happened to the words "God is in control!".

We've all fallen for the story of the guy who needed to hear the Gospel today but we were too busy for him. That evening he died and now we're riddled with guilt. To that my answer is "God is Sovereign".

On the other side of the guilt trip what about the people who don't want to have anything to do with God because we so turned them off by our over zealousness. My answer remains the same - "God is Sovereign".

The key is to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading. From experience what most people need and want is a glass of water. Ocassionally they genuinely need a fire hose and a hydrant. More often though people are reached one glass of water at a time.

Fact is discipleship is relationship and that takes time. Always remember when it comes to relationships "slow is fast". The faster you go the slower things get. The slower you go the faster things become.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

See also my other post:

Prayer & Shampoo

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