Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
Several years ago, I heard Brother Andrew of Open Doors Ministry, tell a story of how he presented a “peace” plan to a group of pastors in Beirut, Lebanon. I’ve never forgotten it!
They were looking forward to Andrew’s coming during this very disruptive and dangerous time. He revealed his plan this way: “There are 3 steps to the plan. First, each of you must be experiencing the peace of Jesus in your heart right now. I’ve walked with you in the streets of Beirut. Not a one of you has a sense of peace in your heart! Second, you must go home, pray with your family in such a way that your family knows the peace of Jesus today. Third, now you have a dwelling of peace into which you may invite people into your homes, into the peace of Jesus! That’s the only way the people of Beirut are going to know the peace of Jesus.”
I have often expressed that believers tend to move into a stance that has very little effect in changing their world. Believers tend to talk to themselves about the world or talk to the world about themselves. Many times the favorite pastime of the church it seems is to confess the sins of those outside the church. My favorite line is, “We are judging the world and talking to ourselves, when we ought to be judging ourselves and talking to the world!”
It’s so much easier to busy ourselves with meetings and causes, but these ‘good’ causes get in the way of the ‘best’-changing our world for good and forever! Bob Briner’s book, SEVEN NOBLE CAUSES THAT KEEP CHRISTIANS FROM CHANGING THE WORLD, is right on target here! Check out the external, noble causes he lists:
Squabbling over prayer in public schools!
Making Jesus a right winger!
Thwarting the homosexual agenda!
Fighting other Christians over doctrinal purity!
Shutting down the abortion clinics!
Cleaning up television!
Fighting for family values!
These external causes are nothing more than deadly detours away from matters of the heart. It’s all about external demonstrations for Jesus, but has little to do with demonstrating Jesus to the world. We take deadly detours because they make us feel active and engaged. Why? Because it is so difficult to live your life from the inside out. It’s so much easier to do something external and not really own it in your heart. To talk the walk is easy; to walk the walk is living like Jesus and that’s tough. This is why I often say: “I’m trying to do the toughest thing I’ve ever tried to do in my life. I’m trying to follow the teachings and principles of Jesus.
Followers of Jesus are not changing the world, but it doesn’t have to be this way! This is why SECRET #18 is key: The follower of Jesus lives his life inside out.