By Shan Wood
Have you ever been overwhelmed? Have you ever been exhausted? Have you ever looked around and asked, “God, where are you?”
In 1 Kings 19, the Prophet Elijah has been faithful and unrelenting in his service to God, proclaiming God’s message and doing what God had asked him to do. His reward for his effort?
He's running for his life from a wicked King and Queen -- Ahab and Jezebel (Give them a google search and see how bad they were!).
Discouraged, alone, and on the run, Elijah tells God, “I’ve done what You’ve asked, but the people have not only ignored me, now they have also torn down the places of worship and killed Your messengers. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.”
Elijah was overwhelmed. He had nothing left to give and believed nothing good would come of God’s plan. God sent him to a cave in the side of a mountain and told him to wait because He, the Lord, was going to pass by. Listen to what happens next…
“A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind there was an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake came a fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire came a gentle and quiet whisper. When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, ‘So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?’” 1 Kings 19:12-14 MSG
People tend to think that everything about God is big and powerful and loud and over-the-top. But God shows up when He isn’t expected and in ways people never expect. He also speaks through the most unlikely people in places that some might think are questionable.
It’s in those small, unexpected ways that God helps us to be closer to Him and re-energizes us for what lies ahead. If He were always showing Himself to be powerful and wonderful, we who are normal, and not wonderful, would feel like we don’t “measure up” and God would never want to have anything to do with us. But here is the good news... Not only does God want everything to do with us, He’s also always acting on our behalf in the most powerful ways.
He cares about the little things. He cares about the things we care about and understands the things that wear us out, worry us, and discourage us. Like the caring Father He is, He reminds us we’re not alone in the most unexpected ways. He’s in control and He’s never surprised by evil.
This past Sunday Trey said that people who know God need to “wear out the worn-out in prayer”. That means when we’re so tired and have nothing left, we can still pray. And while it may not seem like much, in those quiet moments of prayer is often where we hear from God. And it’s in prayer that our strength is restored and we find reasons to be grateful; even reasons to sing.
Psalm 42:1-5; 43:3-5
“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, ‘Where is this God of yours?’
My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God; singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again, my Savior and my God!
Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again, my Savior and my God!”
by Trey Faull
I’m not a very patient person. When I want something I usually find a way to get it as soon as possible so I don’t have to wait. When there is an event or a trip planned, I will often waste the time leading up to that event because all I can think about is how much fun it will be. I’ve wasted much time not being productive in my waiting because my impatience drives me to obsess over whatever is on the horizon.
It’s ironic though, because I’m obsessed with my time. I’m never late and always early. I love watches and have a clock in every room. One of my greatest professional skills is time management - I always get my work done. Yet, I still get impatient and waste time when there is something I want waiting for me in the future. The thought of a future reward often distracts me from working and getting things done in the waiting.
I think we often approach God in a similar fashion. We pray for God to move in our lives and do a miracle, but then we fail to make the most of our time while we are waiting on Him to move. It’s easy to pray, “God please relieve my financial stress,” wait a few days, and then get mad and quit when we don’t have a big increase in income.
But that’s not God’s fault… That’s our fault for not knowing how to wait.
What if, instead of sitting idly by and wasting our waiting time, we actually set out to grow and improve so that we are ready when God does answer us. Let’s go back to the finance example.
You want an increase of income, but do you have a budget that says, “I can manage money?” Have you worked to pay off your debts so that you’re not slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7)? Have you taken the money you do have and been generous with it by tithing or helping others?
You see how the attitude is different in the waiting when you commit to working on yourself in the process? By the way, this is a principle that Jesus taught in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. Except in this situation you’re investing in yourself and in the time God has given you.
What if instead of throwing a hissy fit when God doesn’t give us what we want, when we want it, we inclined ourselves to wait and grow through the time we spend waiting?
Maybe you are waiting on a job, so while you hustle with Uber Eats to make ends meet, you should spend extra time learning software, a trade, adding new skills to your arsenal, and getting yourself ready to accept that job that you have prayed for.
Maybe you’re waiting on the relationship to heal. Have you gone to counseling? Have you taken inventory of your life and apologized for the wrongs you may be guilty of? Are you working through the pain (s)he caused so that you can forgive him/her when (s)he asks?
You see, when we decide to grow while we wait, we end up placing ourselves in a better position to receive the answer to our prayer. Your growth in the waiting will often indicate that you are ready to receive whatever God has in store for you.
So be patient. Trust God’s timing… But use that time to grow. Grow by pursuing God. Grow by becoming a better you. And maximize the time God has given you while you wait on Him.
Is there power in prayer? Depending on your background you might have a different answer to that question than the person sitting next to you. However, there is no denying that prayer is pervasive throughout our culture (We talked about that HERE).
Lots of people want to know if prayer works… Is it worth journaling or getting up early to spend time with God? It’s a valid question. But it might be the wrong question. Maybe a better question to ask is, “Do you work?”
Last week I saw a tweet from Christian artist Lecrae that said,
Most people say, ‘I’ll pray for you…’ and that’s it. That’s the prayer… Don’t be that kind of person.
While this made me chuckle, it’s true. So often we say or comment, “I’ll pray for you,” but then we never take the time to actually pray for that person. We end up using prayer as an excuse to actually get out of walking with that person through their pain (See James 2:15-16 for some excellent sarcasm on this topic).
I think a better way to be with people in their pain is to say, “I’ll pray for you,” and then actually go home and pray for them. But then, those words should immediately be followed with, “How can I help?”
I’ll pray for you… How can I help?
Here’s why this is incredible: You end up being the very answer to the prayer you’re praying for them.
Example: Joe is having marital problems and he lets you in on the drama. You say to Joe, “I’m going to pray for you right now… God, restore their marriage and give them the willingness to work through the uncertainty.”
As soon as you say “Amen,” Joe looks at you for more help and this is the moment. This is not when you say, “Welp… See ya later.” Rather, this is when you say, “Would it be helpful if I babysat your kids for the evening so you and your wife can have some time together and work on your marriage?”
Boom Sauce. You’ve prayed for him and asked God to heal their marriage… And then, holy smokes! You’re able to immediately help Joe take a step in seeing that prayer come to life. You are the answer to your prayer!
Saint Augustine once wrote,
“Pray as though everything depended on God… But work as though everything depended on you.”
I believe prayer works (God’s already proven Himself), but I’m hesitant to say, “We work.” Prayer is important, but God almost always calls us to move.
And understand, our work does not take away from the power of God, rather it taps into the power of God as we allow ourselves to be used by God see His kingdom become a reality on Earth as it is in Heaven.
I’ll pray for you… How can I help?
If I asked you to describe a situation where you were “desperate”, what comes to mind? Are you recalling about nine months ago when half the country was “desperate” for toilet paper? Or maybe it’s that time when your car broke down and you realized your cell phone only had 4% left?
Maybe it’s not desperate like having to go to the bathroom, or your car breaking down. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you are desperate. Maybe you are desperate because your world is slowly sinking and you aren’t sure what you can do. You are desperate for help, for direction... You’re desperate for God.
We talked about praying and fasting this past week. These are two spiritual activities that were often combined by the people of God when they were desperate. Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah are just a few of the people in the Bible who had times of prayer and fasting during a season of personal or national desperation. When God’s people were desperate, they went to God. And they did so with prayer and fasting.
But what if I told you God is desperate for YOU? What if told you that God, in all His glory and power, is more desperate for you than we are for him?
In Matthew 18, there’s an account of a lost sheep that shows how desperate God is for us:
“If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14
Jesus tells this story to illustrate how much He loves us. He talks about a sheep, like a person, that wanders away and gets lost. When this happens, a shepherd will actually leave all the other sheep to look for the one that is lost. Jesus says that “Your Father in Heaven” is happier about finding you “in the same way” that the shepherd was about finding his lost sheep.
God is desperate to be close to you. I want you to think about that as you go through these 21 days of praying and fasting. As you grow closer to God, know that long before you started praying and fasting, God was already coming for you. Sometimes we don’t realize where we’ve wandered to. We can get so busy doing life that we can forget to live life and lose site of the life that God has for us when we “wander."
Sometimes, when we dedicate ourselves to a time of prayer and fasting, we can suddenly realize that we have been farther away from God than we realized. We’ve wandered. And when God shows up, it’s almost as if He says, “There you are! I’ve been looking for you. I was wondering where you had gone.”
God is desperately wanting to be close to you. Keep praying. Keep seeking. He'll find you.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8 NIV
I’m not sure what your personal thoughts or experiences with prayer are. But prayer is unavoidable.
In all cultures, through all eras of time, prayer has been a fundamental part of life. Prayer is a global phenomenon. Whether you are Islam, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, or even an atheist, prayer is one of the most common practices in all walks of life.
Muslims pray five times a day to Allah. Jews have traditionally prayed 3 times a day, Christian prayer varies based on your tradition, Buddhists use prayer wheels, and Hindus pray for ultimate union with the Supreme Being. For those who claim no religion… Well I’ll send some good vibes your way. Tim Keller says, Prayer is one of the most common phenomena of human life. Karl Barth calls prayer our incurable God-sickness.
Prayer seeps into our cultures because deep down all of us long to believe that there is something greater. We want to believe that there is something beyond ourselves that we are able to connect with.
In fact, that’s what we see time and time again in the book of Psalms. We see God connecting with His people. The Psalms are ancient prayers from God’s people. And you can learn a lot about prayer just by spending a few minutes each day in the Psalms. For example, read Psalm 25 today. And as you read it, watch for these two truths.
Prayer is the ultimate path to self-discovery
In verses 1-7 look at how many times David cries out to God and trusts in God. He says things like, I give my life to you, I trust in you, you are the God who saves me, Remember your compassion and unfailing love, and do not remember the sins of my youth. Why does he say those things? Because anytime David approaches God, he’s confronted with the evil and sin that exists within his heart.
David realizes how helpless he is and that the only way to live and experience salvation is to trust in God. Modern meditation practices would tell you to go off and be alone and work through those thoughts. But prayer in the name of Jesus invites us to sort those thoughts out in the presence of a Holy God that we can trust.
So get rid of the Enneagram, the Meyer’s Briggs, and any other personality profile… Instead, spend some time in prayer before God and you’ll quickly learn who you are. But it’s more than just learning about who you are.
Prayer is the ultimate path to knowing God
When we pray, we are demonstrating and taking advantage of the access to God that we have been given. We are literally talking to the Creator of all that we see and experience everyday. And as we spend time with Him, we inevitably learn more about Him. Read verses 8-10 and see how much David recognizes about God.
As the Psalm progresses, we see David go through some intense spiritual battles. And every single time he cries out to God for salvation. Why? Because He knew that God was good, that God guides, that He does what is right, that God teaches, that He loves, and that He is faithful (see v. 8-10).
So why should you pray? Because in prayer you learn more about yourself and you learn more about God. And those just might be the two biggest questions that every human being asks… Who am I? And who is God?
The answer is waiting for you in prayer.
When you are excited about something, what do you do with the news? Maybe you’re getting a new gadget that you’ve saved for. Maybe you get to see your favorite music artist after years of waiting. Or maybe, you came across an incredible deal that has you overly excited… What do you do with that news?
If you’re anything like me, you tell people about it. When I get a deal I look for even the slightest opening in the conversation to tell the other person about the deal I got. When I found out that my wife and I were pregnant (both times) I was filled with excitement and had a hard time not dominating the conversation with others about the good news.
When you have good news, it’s natural to share it.
I once heard N.T. Wright talk about his excitement when watching England defeat Australia in a rugby tournament. He was so excited that he rushed down to his hotel lobby to celebrate with others. While in the lobby he encountered three men… The first was from Australia - it was the worst day ever for him. The second was from Britain - It was the best day ever for him. And the third was an American - he didn’t care at all. Wright concludes, “News means different things to different people.”
Regardless of how that news is received, it doesn’t make it wrong to share the news. Most people could care less that I went to a country music concert. Many people were excited about the birth of my two boys. People respond differently to different news.
So, when you decide to share the news that Jesus has resurrected from the grave and that victory over death and evil is made possible through belief in Jesus… You will get different responses. Some will try to say “Quit trying to shove your religion down my throat.” Others might respond with, “I’m skeptical.” While others will be overjoyed at the news and respond with excitement and acceptance.
No matter how they respond, you are never wrong to share good news with the world.
In fact, sharing good news is essentially what Jesus tasked each of us to do if we have chosen to follow Him. Here were his exact words,
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NLT)
What’s it mean to be a witness? It means to confirm or attest to something on the basis of personal knowledge or belief. In other words, Jesus is literally telling his disciples, “Go tell everyone (the ends of the earth) about your personal knowledge of me… Go tell them the good news, which had over 500 witnesses (no fake news here! - see 1 Corinthians 15:6), that I’ve conquered the grave!”
We share the good news of life in Jesus, because we care for others and want them to experience and realize the same good news that we have. When we share Jesus, it’s really no different than bragging about the vacation, the promotion, or whatever we deem to be good news. When we share the good news of Jesus, it’s like getting a deal of a lifetime and not being able to shut up about it. Except this time, it’s the of deal of eternity.
So let me encourage you today. If you share the news of Jesus’s resurrection from the grave, you are giving witness to what you’ve seen and experienced in Him. You’re sharing the news that you have found life in Him. You’re not forcing anyone to believe. You’re not trying to change anyone by your own power… You’re simply sharing what you’ve seen and experienced with Jesus because it’s been good news in your life. And you can pray that they will receive it as good news as well. But how they receive the news, is ultimately up to them.
Keep sharing the good news.
Growth takes time. We know this from a biological standpoint. Humans spend their first nine months of existence in the womb growing and being nurtured by their mother. Once we are born our growth continues through our teen years. We learn to roll over, then we walk, then our parents are sizing up our diapers and clothes. Year after year we have to get new clothes and new shoes because we can’t stop growing. We grow taller and bigger until we finally slow down between the ages of 16-20… It’s a lot of growth. But it takes a lot of time.
I think we can agree that growth takes time biologically, and most of us would probably admit that growth takes time professionally. Rarely does anyone wake up one day to realize that through no effort of their own they have achieved greatness and become the very person they dream of being. Rather, most people have an idea of where they want to end up in life and then they take the necessary steps to achieve that end. That takes time. In his book Outliers Malcom Gladwell records that it takes 10,000 hours of practice before you are considered an expert at any skill or talent. That’s a lot of time.
We understand that growth takes time physically and professionally… But few us like the idea of growth taking time spiritually. We often have that conversion experience where we feel God’s presence like never before, but it quickly fades and we soon realize that we have very little connection or relationship with God. And we begin to ask ourselves, “Why don’t I know all the answers? Why do I still struggle with this sin? Why am I still angry? Why don’t I feel God?”
When it comes to spiritual growth, we want the results immediately. Most of the time it is because the time associated with spiritual growth requires pain. We feel pain as we have to say goodbye to some relationships. We feel the pain of no longer reaching for the bottle to relax. We feel the pain of confronting the hurt we caused in someone’s life because of the way we lived before Christ. We feel the pain of sacrificing 10% of our salary so that the mission of God can move forward.
And often times, when confronted with these growth pains, we choose to not grow because the pain of staying the same is less than the pain of change. And then, we look at our lives and say, “Why haven’t I grown? Why am I not where I want to be spiritually?” And more often then not, it’s because we get impatient with what growth requires… So we quit and throw in the towel. But as we said at the beginning, growth takes time.
Rich Villodas tweeted the other day,
“If Jesus spent 8 hours a day, every day, for 3 years with his disciples, he would have spent over 8,000 hours with them. And after all that time, they still had significant gaps! Peter still denied him. Thomas still doubted. James and John still wanted power. 8,000 hours with his disciples and they had gaps.
Yet, we think 1 hour a week on Sunday morning is gonna change us?”
That convicts me! So often we don’t grow because we don’t put the time into grow. We never develop a consistent and steady prayer and Bible time. We don’t make it a priority to communicate and connect with other believers. We pack our schedules so full that we never have time to serve others. And all of these are steps to spiritual growth. And we often don't make the time for those steps. Which means we aren't growing by our own doing.
Please understand, when we feel distant from God and we feel like our spiritual growth is stunted, the problem is not with Him. It’s always with us.
So here's my suggestion: If you want to grow in your faith like never before this year, anticipate making sacrifices (pain!) so that you can spend more time with Him.
It should be no surprise to anyone that simply having knowledge about someone or something will not automatically dictate behavior. For example, I know that I should work out more because it’s good for my health… But that doesn’t mean I will. I know that I don’t need to upgrade to the iPhone 12 because my Xr works just fine… But that doesn’t mean I won’t. I know that I should turn off the TV and pick up a book… But it’s probably not gonna happen.
At the same time, the things I don’t know can also hurt me. As a kid, I didn’t know that broken glass could hurt me… So, when I picked up a broken shard and sliced my finger open, I really wish I had known that glass was sharp. For many of us, we wish we had known about those hidden dealer fees before buying a new car, but now we are out 500 bucks and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Knowledge can be a conundrum. And this knowledge conundrum especially extends into our faith. I know that I should sacrifice for and love my neighbor… But that doesn’t mean I will. On the flip side, I’ve known many who love to talk about themselves, yet had no idea that it was a prideful sin. You can be wrong and know everything. You can be wrong and know nothing.
I’ve seen lots of people who “know” God in the sense of pure data. They can tell you every story, every character, every law, and every interpretation, yet they have never learned how to apply that knowledge and live that knowledge out. And so, what we discover in this tension is that they don’t really know God… Because to know God is to obey his commands (1 John 2:3).
On the total opposite side, there are many who profess to know God, but their lives don’t reflect that knowledge because they have made no effort to know Him. They’ve let the pendulum swing to the other side and rather than learning everything about God, they’ve decided to know nothing about Him. And they are still just as far from God as those who have lots of knowledge but do very little. Their claim to follow Jesus is really just empty words.
It really is a conundrum. It shows us that you can know all the answers or know none of the answers and still be wrong. And at any point in time, every single one of us could swing to one side or the other.
So how do we know if we truly know God? If just the facts isn’t enough and if claiming belief but failing to learn about Him isn’t enough, what’s the answer?
I think it’s simple really… Let your knowledge of God transform you to be like God. To those who know everything, you have to be open to the power of that knowledge so that you can change for the better. To the one who puts no effort into studying and learning the things of God, you have to make an effort to learn about Him in His word so that you can be transformed.
Learning about God is an essential process to knowing God, but it can’t stop there. That knowledge must be applied to everyday life. Your knowledge must transform the way you think, live, and act. It must transform you to be like Jesus.
Colossians 3:10 says, Put on the new self, which is being renewed IN KNOWLEDGE after the IMAGE of its CREATOR.
Your new self, your transformed self is renewed in KNOWLEDGE after GOD! You’ll know you know God when you begin to experience the thrill of transformation in Christ. You’ll know you know God when you begin to respond differently and act differently and think differently than you did before.
So here’s the application for all of this: When (not if!) you study the Bible and the things of God to know Him more, you should always ask, “How then should I live?” Because the answer to that question should always be a reflection of Jesus and His way of life. And if it’s not, then you’ve missed the point and you might not know God as well as you think.
I think it’s really easy to read the Bible and see all the incredible stories and great acts of faith that people like Abraham, Rahab, Peter, Paul, Moses, and Noah made and say to ourselves, “Yeah… But that was a long time ago. God doesn’t really expect such faith from me.” And by simply writing off these stories as “Different day and different culture,” we actually end up missing out on all that God has in store for us.
I believe with all my heart that Christians are to live into the same type of faith that we see throughout Scripture. We are to be risk takers and world changers because we believe that the Creator of this world has called us to participate in his redemptive purposes for the world. But so often, our faith is little more than mental assent… We believe in Jesus, but we don’t always live for Jesus. We believe that Jesus lived, died, and resurrected, but how many of us only believe that to make sure we are covered when we die? So that we can avoid the bad place and get to the good place?
When following Jesus exists in mind only, with no action and discipline to actually follow Jesus in the way we structure our lives, we miss out on the purpose for which we were called. Jesus lays that purpose out pretty clearly for us in Matthew 28…
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I don’t know if you were paying attention or not, but that’s a purpose of action. Go… Make Disciples… Baptize them… Teach them… Five actions that Jesus outlines as our purpose. And for sure, these actions are often fulfilled in different ways. Sometimes its fulfilled with community service, intense prayer experiences, rigorous Bible study, or just showing up for your neighbor’s party… But, however the purpose is fulfilled, it’s fulfilled with some type of action. Praying for your friend to know Jesus is action. Studying Scripture to know God so that you can answer questions for others is action. Serving your community is action. Showing up is action.
Faith in Jesus requires action. It’s not enough to let our faith exist in mind only. We have to actively pursue God and pursue others if we are going to fulfill our purpose. The Bible is not just about people who took great risks so that we could be amazed… The Bible is full of stories about people taking great risks so that we could be encouraged to do the same.
Justo Gonzalez is a Christian Historian and in his book, A History of Christianity he writes,
“…Evangelism did not take place in church services, but rather in kitchens, shops, and markets. Sure there were some who held more academic type debates in their education centers… But the fact remains that most converts were made by anonymous Christians whose witness led others to their faith… It is clear that the enormous spread of the Gospel in those first centuries was not due to full-time missionaries, but rather to the many Christians who traveled for other reasons — slaves, merchants, exiles condemned to work in the mines, and the like.”
The good news of Jesus spread because common everyday people got active in their faith. The purpose, “To go make disciples,” was fulfilled because people like you and me got off the couch, out of the chair, turned off the TV, and took Jesus with them to the marketplace, to their jobs, and to their friends. And the risk they took to share the love of Jesus with their world, changed the whole world.
Friends, our purpose as followers of Jesus demands action. Don’t let 2021 pass you by without making an effort to help someone find and follow Jesus. Commit today to living an active faith so that the world might see Him.
The goal of a leader is take people from where they are to where they could be… And sometimes the one being lead can’t even see where it is they are going. It’s the coach who pushes his players to work harder, run faster, and jump higher to win a national championship. It’s the music teacher who takes her pupil to the next level by encouraging and equipping the student to play better than she ever thought she could. It’s the professor who sees something in a young college student and spends more time than usual with her to make sure she’s ready for the real world.
Every single day there are leaders in the world who see something their followers can’t see and their goal is to get them to a level they didn’t think was possible… And it is no different when it comes to following Jesus.
I know that anyone who reads this blog has someone in mind that you believe in and you know that they could make a huge impact for Jesus. But they don’t see it. They are imprisoned by their past. Their mind ruts won’t let them break free from negative thinking and self-doubt. Their relationships keep pulling them back into the same old behavior that they’ve been trying to break for years. They could be so much more… But they just don’t know how.
This is where you make it personal with them. This is where you step up and have what one author calls the ICNU Conversation*. It goes like this…
“Hey, I’ve noticed that people really listen to you when you speak up in the group, have you ever thought of going into public ministry?”
“Hey, I’ve noticed that God continually blesses and you have such success in business, have you ever thought of using those skills to help non-profits become financially stable?”
“Hey, I’ve noticed that you have a way of making people feel welcome, have you ever thought of using your house to welcome people far from Jesus into a relationship with Him?”
The list could go on, but you get the point. The ICNU Conversation is noticing and seeing something in someone that they don’t see in themselves… And then telling them about it. It’s coming alongside them and saying “You’re really good at this, I think you can use it for Jesus.”
So many of us think that we are disqualified from following Jesus because of (fill in the blank), but nothing is further from the truth.
Peter denied Jesus, but lead the first church.
Paul killed Christians, but planted churches all over the ancient world.
Zacchaeus stole, but learned generosity.
Mary was a prostitute, but was one of the first messengers with the news of the resurrection.
James doubted Jesus, but went on to be a key leader for the early church.
You see the pattern? It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God wants to use you for His glory. And sometimes we just need a little extra boost of confidence from others.
So go encourage someone today. Go have an ICNU Conversation. Go help someone be more than
*Borrowed from Dave Ferguson's and Warren Bird's Hero Maker, 2018.