Sunday, May 19, 2013
Trusting God to Guide Others
by Rick Blumenberg /
I'm Rick Blumenberg and that's My View from Tanner Creek.
It is always a struggle to know when to speak and when to leave something to God, especially when it comes to behavior of a believer that we feel is either un-Christian or far below what we consider to be the norm for consistent Christian living. If we allow it, that sort of thing can be discouraging. I think the most important thing we can do is try to see the positive things that are happening in the church and in the world. More living people know Christ as Savior now than at any time in the history of the world! The gospel is being published more broadly than at any time in the past.
Of course that still doesn’t change the urgency of the evangelistic task. There are also more people who are lost today than ever in the history of the world, simply because world population is growing faster than we are evangelizing.
Paul wrote to Timothy that God “desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:4(ESV)) and in II Peter 3:9 he wrote that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
So this tells me that a relationship with God through Christ is the first priority and we can leave the details of our belief to God. We need to teach the truth, but we don’t need to be overly concerned when people are not living up to all the truth we know. We just have to leave them to God and trust his Spirit to lead them at the right pace for them and at the right time for them. So a big part of our faith has to be that if we do our part, God can be trusted to do his part. The question is, how much do you trust God? If you leave it to him, do you really believe he can do what needs to be done? It is the work of the Spirit to “convict the world of truth” (see John 16:9-11(NIV)) “in regards to sin and righteousness and judgment.” (There is a really good three-point sermon in those verses.) Remember, this isn’t your assignment.
What I see in these verses is that it is not our job to make people feel guilty because of the sin of not believing in Christ (the worst sin of all), or whether or not we think what they do is right, or to pronounce judgment on them for the life they live. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, rather than you or me trying to bring conviction for the things we believe. We just pray for people to hear rightly the voice of the Spirit, praying specifically for those we know or praying in general for those we don’t know. We can leave the rest to God unless he directs us specifically in a certain direction. We can trust God. He is able to do his part.