I was recently reminded of an experience I had several years ago, in fact back when I was just a few years out of high school. I’m not one to try and live in the past, but I believe that the past can often times teach us things and can be used to encourage others in this thing we call ‘life’. So, as I relate this experience I ask that you will take it to heart and ask the Lord what He may want to teach you through this.
I was just out of high school working for a large vending company. My job was one where I frequented several businesses on a regular basis maintaining the various machines and the product they contained. Two of the locations I was responsible for were a part of one company and worked closely together as they were just a couple blocks from each other. I had gained a level of report with the workers at both of these locations and had many opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel with them, as well as opportunities to speak into their lives in various ways. It was exciting when I saw a mini-revival of sorts begin to take place at both locations and Christians began to come out of the “woodwork” so to speak and begin to make themselves known to those around of their faith in Jesus. I was so excited seeing God at work and yet so humbled that He would use me as He was, but something was about to happen.
It wasn’t too long after this began to happen that my immediate supervisor met me at one of these two locations. This wasn’t out of the ordinary as he would do this frequently just to check on things, but this time was different. I remember that I was busy filling one of the machines when he walked up to me and handed me a bit of a bombshell. He told me that they had been notified by the management of these two locations that they didn’t like me talking to the workers about Christ. He then went on to tell me that I was to stop talking to others there about Jesus or risk losing my job. He didn’t press me for a response at the time but he knew that was asking a lot of me. He knew that my relationship to Christ was everything, and that I was compelled to share Him with others.
After he left me standing there by the machine I felt like the wind had just been kicked out of me. What happened? Why did this happen to me? What was I going to do? These were questions that just seemed to bombard me one right after the other. One of the workers then came into the break room that I knew to be a vocal Christian and so I shared with him what had just happened. He asked what I was going to do and I told him that I couldn’t stop talking about my Jesus especially if I felt led to do so, but at the same time I didn’t know. He encouraged me not to make any rash decisions and to just take it to the Lord in prayer, which I did, and he was going to have some of the other Christians there begin to pray as well.
A couple days later this brother in the Lord came to me and asked me a simple question, had I been talking to this one particular person at the other location? Well, I didn’t immediately recognize the name but when he described her I realized who he was talking about, and I then told him I had been talking to her. I further shared with him that she had approached me and was asking me questions and asking for my advice on things. He then, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, told me that the enemy was using her to lay a trap for me and began to share some things with me.
You see, during this time one of the warehouse workers began to ask my advice on some issues in his life and marriage, which I have to admit was surprising to me since I was a single guy barely out of high school. He was telling me of some of the struggles he was having, and I just kept pointing him to Christ making sure he was seeking right relationship with Him. At the same time I had someone else, among many, approach me at the other location asking my advice on issues in her life, issues that also involved her marriage and I also pointed her to Christ. What I did not know was that these two people were married to each other.
Apparently, while this lady was asking me questions and my advice on things, professing herself to be a Christian, she was going to others and telling them that I was pushing my faith on her and had filed a complaint against me with her supervisors. When the Lord revealed this brother in the Lord we began to pray and other Christians got involved, which included Christians in “high places” in the company. I had already determined that I was going to continue sharing my faith with others as the Spirit led me to, even if it meant my job, but now I was more determined to do so. I don’t know what ever happened to the complaint or to this woman, but God was with me and I never heard another thing from my supervisors as I continued as I already had been, sharing the good news of Jesus to those around.
I share the above experience to ask you a simple question. What will it be for you? Are you going to share the good news of Jesus to those around you, to those who need to know there is a comfort and a rest to be found with a life surrendered to Christ, or are you going to keep your mouth shut in the fear of public opinion or the loss of employment and career? What will it be for you? Are you willing to speak words of life, hope and peace through Jesus to others even if it offends others? Or will you keep your mouth shut to maintain a false sense of peace and to avoid ‘rocking the boat’? Only you can decide that, but before you do consider two things. One, if you’re willing to keep the good news from others to avoid conflict now, how can you be so sure you would speak up later when the pressure is greater to stay silent, or worse yet, to renounce Jesus? The second thing to consider is this, if we fail to share the good news of Jesus to others, whether or not others are talking to them about Jesus, if they find their eternal destination in hell then their blood is on your hands. Is that something that you want for yourself? I don’t, and I sometimes have to keep reminding myself of that. I already deal with that though with someone from my past, and I don’t want others to be added to that list. How about you?
So, what will it be for you?
John Johansson – www.resoundingshophar.com