Last Wednesday, I sat down next to a middle age woman, who rocked my entire world. Up until this last week, I had never had a conversation gone wrong with anyone I reached out to on the beach. Up until her, I felt pretty confident in myself, I guess you could say I had it coming.
She was alone on a blanket looking at the ocean, so I felt pulled to reach out. After commenting on her situation, I sat down and asked to share about my summer. She quickly turned defensive and said, "if I take the time to listen to you you have to respect what I have to say too."
Definitely took me off-guard.
She mentioned her belief that she thinks people should be good without having to "be good for someone or a reason." She hated the church and hypocrisy. I agreed. We all hate hypocrisy. She said her mother was partially Jewish, but she didn't desire to follow neither her heritage or Jesus.
She shared her story and I dug into mine, but somehow the words just wouldn't come out. She was defensive and her reaction made me feel as if she was a lost cause and nothing I said would change her mind. I shared the gospel, but it felt as if I was talking to a wall.
Soon, the tide swept in and she cut off the conversation and I walked away analyzing what happened. Her response made me feel inadequate. I walked away rethinking everything I believed in about sharing the gospel. I felt silenced and as if I couldn't say anything I thought I needed to.
But then I realized nothing I could ever say would ever save anyone. Only Jesus can unveil someone's eyes to every lie they've believed in or lived out and nothing I will do will ever be able to compare.
I walked away realizing I look at Jesus as a TOOL TO BE USED verses looking at myself as the TOOL.
That woman may have become more ignorant towards Christ after that conversation or maybe God used sharing the bridge diagram and my story to allow her to see God for the first time. The saddest part is I will never know.
Personally, the hardest part is knowing not everyone is going to Heaven. In fact, it scares me. How dreadfully scary is it to realize we know and carry the key to Heaven in our hearts. Often, we are so scared and/or selfish to take the time to share it. I let that fear of trying to save everyone hit me like a wall of bricks, but then Jesus sweeps in and reassures me that His plan is His plan alone to carry out. Yes, I should be living out the Gospel and sharing it, but I should not do it out of fear of trying to take everyone off Hell's hit list by my own strength.
I cannot save anyone, you cannot save anybody. Only Jesus saves. He uses us, not the other way around.
Yes, preach the Word and share the Gospel as often as you feel led to, but never let fear become the reason for sharing. Do not walk away from what felt like a dead-end conversation and believe that because it "went wrong" in your eyes means it was a failed mission.
God does not fail missions, in fact He scoops them up and fulfills them in His perfect timing. Jesus completes the mission. He uses you whether or not you reap and/or see the benefits.