I’m having some repair work done on my house. And two of the contractors have asked me, “What do you do?” Though I shouldn’t be, I am always amazed at the response. It would be easier to say that I steal small children from their beds at night. People just recoil when you say, “I work for a ministry.”
A Loudly Proclaimed Christian
Now, I have built a home before and one thing I can honestly say, anyone who came to my job site proclaiming loudly the Word of GOD, ended up robbing me blind. The loudest of religious voices always turned out to be covering for the biggest crooks. I wish I could say it was just one, but it was every single one.
And believe me, I know that these false ambassadors are defiling workers on every construction site they work on. They defame the name of Christ and profane the gospel. No wonder people wince or run screaming away when they hear the declaration of Christian ministry.
Boo! I’m a Christian
After the second worker asked, I literally grieved to have to answer the question and receive their response. Jennifer was witness to the interaction. And after the man left, she said, “You don’t owe anyone anything.” I was flabbergasted. I realized that I was held in error by misappropriating the scripture Mark 8:38.
If anyone is ashamed of Me and My message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when He returns in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
Jesus says, “So you’re a Christian?”
I’ve always translated this that I must give full disclosure or Jesus will say of me, “John who?” I felt the compulsion to give a complete answer. I HAD TO! But what I see in this dealing is that I am not required to offer full disclosure just because I am asked. I truly owe you nothing that the Spirit doesn’t allow.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel, or of what I do, or whom I work with. I love Jesus, my life, my job and my calling. I’m not even ashamed that the Lord has given me a readily misunderstood calling of singleness, which often bears with it accusation. I’m His and His alone and I don’t have to share any of this information with anyone just because they inquire.
What am I required to do? Follow the Spirit in obedience! I’m required to listen to the Spirit in all my dealings and this includes what I share of my faith and life. I don’t tell just anyone I’m called to be single. And I don’t have to tell anyone I work for a Christian ministry unless that is what the Spirit desires.
The Christian is Obedient
Oh, this is liberating. And more than that, it will be more fruitful. The Spirit is the One who can sow and reap of His harvest. My scampering about purposing to tell everyone “HEY, I AM A CHRISTIAN, DID YOU HEAR ME?” is a violation. If you can’t tell I’m a Christian, there is a problem. If I have to assault bystanders and passersby with scripture to prove I’m truly a Christian, something is amiss in my walk.
I’m not denying the name of Jesus Christ by being led of the Spirit of God in my interactions with others. I’m a representative of the Life. And my job is to listen and be obedient, not compelled or aggressive.
This all reminds me of a business practice we have at LivingChristianBooks.com, Shulamite Ministries’ online bookstore. We follow the leading of the Spirit in how we address every order. Sometimes the Lord will have us put in with the order a personalized, handwritten note. Other times He has us include a gift – it all depends on the Spirit’s leading. What I’ve seen is when we gave people blessings or gifts across the board without listening to the Spirit, the fruit was almost nothing. We did this for a season when we had workers less vested in actual ministry. But now that Jennifer and I again head this up, we’ve seen amazing fruit. By being obedient to the Spirit in how we’re to respond to customers, the results have been amazing.
Jennifer set me free with her words to trust the Spirit’s leading in my responses. I refuse to any longer rely on compulsion and obligation. I’ve been set free to be obedient in this area, rather than following a law. I’m looking forward to the experience of His will in my sharing. The moral of the story is: everything has to be by the Spirit or it is death to you and those around you.