This week I enjoyed a round of golf with a new friend. I played horribly, but the conversation was outstanding, because we talked about what we believe and why. We had a joint inquiry about the truth. I loved engaging in this conversation, because my new friend is like everyone on this planet, sharing the same mailbox of challenges in life, unfair circumstances and questions about “where is God?” in the horrors of terrorists and war and injustice, and poverty on this planet. Boy did we cover the gamut of issues and concerns, personal, political, social and relational, all while kicking around a golf course.
As my new friend shared his story, he related that in high school he became friends with professed Christians, who treated him “horribly.” For years, these students who treated him in an “un-Christian” manner, soured him toward Christianity. It wasn’t until years later that a friend suggested that he should NOT let people (those obnoxious Christians in high school) get in the way of his relationship with God. That made sense to him, so he began to investigate what he believed and what various religions had to offer. His mother became a strong Christian toward the end of her life, bought him a Bible and encouraged him to consider Christianity.
God had been working in my new friend’s life, long before this “wannabe” golfer came on the scene. I love how God invites me to be part of the process of pointing a seeker to Himself.
My friend spoke of his challenges with organized religion, and I resonated with him… saying that I represented the best that “disorganized” religion has to offer.
While the wheels were falling off of my golf game, my friend, who used to be a professional golfer, focused more intently on our spiritual conversation than on my three consecutive and consistently errant drives into lost-ball heaven. We were talking about the Word of God and who deserves to hold the central focus in our existence, and that was all that really mattered. It was so refreshing to spend four hours with a new friend, who was genuinely asking spiritual questions because he is authentically seeking to know the truth.
As I left the golf course, I was reminded about how much I enjoy engaging in conversation with those who are seeking the truth. In fact, I am passionate about making these conversations a higher priority in my life as I move forward.
I want to have more conversations like this in the future. The reason I hesitate, is often because I’m afraid, I allow fear to cause me to shut my mouth, when I need to take intiative.
Here are a few truths from God’s word that inspire me to speak up and to be zealous to tell people about Jesus, as a way of life. It has been said that, for the Christian, silence isn’t golden, it is yellow.
Follow the Example of Godly Men
Elijah was “zealous for the Lord.” (1 Kgs 18:36–40; 19:10–18). Paul the apostle identified himself as a zealot (Gal 1:13–14; Phil 3:6; cf. Acts 22:3 and Rom 10:1–4). Simon “the zealot” was one of the disciples.
Be Zealous for the Gospel
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 “The God of our fathers braised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a 2cross. 31 “He is the one whom God exalted 1to His right hand as a 2bPrince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Be Zealous for Spiritual Battle
There is a spiritual battle for the hearts and lives of people, and I want to be a tool that God can use to help others gain the victory through Jesus.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.