Recently, we have been thinking about evangelism at our church. It has become obvious that however much we all long for friends and neighbours to know the wonderful benefit of believing in Jesus, for some of us, finding the right moment to share the gospel, or indeed forming suitable words, isn’t easy. As I’ve dwelt on this more, it has occurred to me that, for many people we are trying to reach, what is required is not a deluge of the Gospel message, but something more akin to ‘drip feed’ watering.
We all recognise that God’s wonderful truth, contained in the good news of Jesus, is essential life-giving water to our human spirit. Jesus says, “Come to me and drink if you are thirsty, and you will never thirst again”. The water, which is given by Jesus, not only gives us eternal life, but also refreshes us day to day, and allows us to mature and blossom like a well-watered plant. But those around us who don’t know Jesus, and who are living with little or no knowledge of this truth, it’s as if they were living in a desert, parched of the water of life. Consequently, their human spirits could be considered ‘dried out’ by their environment. What God intended as the vehicle through which each person can absorb the life-giving water of His truth has been rendered incapable.
From a purely practical point of view, we know that something that is very, very dry, cannot easily absorb water. For example, it is difficult to get a totally dried out sponge or a chamois leather (the sort you use to clean the car) to become absorbent. To get this dry material to a state where it can do what it is meant to do (absorb water), you need to wet it gradually, little by little. Only when it is slightly damp can it start to really absorb all we want it to.
This throws a new light on our desire to share the Gospel and may help us as we relate to those we are trying to reach. Their human spirits have been affected by the desert dryness of the secular world, so they are effectively desiccated, and literally cannot absorb truth. They may not even realise that they are so dry they are dying of thirst. If so, then the small drips of truth we can impart, drop by drop by our lifestyle or drip by drip in conversation, may be needed. These could eventually ‘dampen’ their human spirit, softening it enough so they realise their thirst for more of this water, the elixir of life, and are able to fully absorb it.
Personally, I feel encouraged by this idea, and maybe you do too. Let’s pray that each drop of truth we can impart will do its work, as we try to build relationships with our as-yet-non-believing friends and neighbours.
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