Most often it takes effort on our part. I believe God desires it that way. He smiles when we do and “want to”. I have seen this on countless occasions.
If we have been born of the Spirit, we have the Spirit of God within us. However, many times in a public environment, we who have the Spirit must step out and make the first move. By doing this, we most often get to partake in what the spirit is doing upon people.
Another example of this was given to me today as I was riding home on the bus. Now, first off, I would like to interject here, that probably most who read this post are not regular or maybe never, bus riders. Don’t let that deter you as you read this from allowing the Holy Spirit to personalize your individual environment where you are around people.
I had just finished being downtown for the day and boarded the light rail train to head home. Like a lot of times, I was just standing there looking around watching people. And as usual, I was on the tired side. Personally, I have seen some of the most awesome times of the Spirit moving during these times.
The train stopped, I got off and headed as usual to the final leg of the trip home, the bus. It was filled with people more than usual already before I boarded. This was due to a previous train that had showed up earlier. I went to the back as usual and took a seat on one of the sides seats. The minute I sat down, I sensed a prompting of the Spirit to immediately pass out some “Born of the Spirit” cards.
Now, I have learned and am learning, that it is good to stay out of any kind of “evangelism” routine. I.E. the minute you sit down, break out the cards :) I must confess that there was a time where this was standard routine. But in the last couple of years, I have learned and continue to learn, that listening and hearing from the Spirit within is key. At the same time, not falling into a routine of not doing anything. That is the easy way out. That is the comfortable way.
From past experience, I know that most often in a public environment, if I don’t say something to someone first, then nothing happens. I know that we who do have the Holy Spirit within, are the ones if anybody, that should speak up, hand out, or do etc. first.
Ok. Back to the bus ride home.
I passed out cards to the people around me. Four out of seven took them. Then, as I usually do, I sat back and prayed and waited for something to happen. Sometimes, nothing noticeable happens. That is Ok. God is bigger than we give him credit for.
The four people were reading them. One girl who had her children with her, didn’t finish reading it. That’s not all that uncommon. When we see them put it in their purse or pocket, that’s a good thing.
About halfway home, one young guy reaches out and shows me the book that he has been reading. He points to the chapter that says, “Lifting up the serpent”. Wow, I said to him. The card that I had just gave him, talked about that.
Now, the guy next to me was reading the card very slowly. He seemed to be very thorough. When he finished it, he smiled and handed it back. I said the usual when they do that, “Oh, you can keep it”. He then told me that he know all about it. So, for the rest of the ride we had a very good dialogue. He asked some good questions, and I answered with the Spirits help.
I could tell by listening to him and when he asked the questions that he asked, that he seemed to in a “cooled off” state. By his own admission, he said that our visit was just what he needed. I asked him if he had been born again, and he assured me that he had.
During our conversation, he said, “tell me, what makes you pass these out?” I smiled, and said, “It’s all because of God’s love inside me”. He smiled and agreed.
The other guy who had the book, now jumps into the conversation. And……… as I always love to see…..”Church on the back of the bus”. All around get to hear. Well, all around who don’t have their ears taken up with something else :)
So, can you see what happen because of being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s prompting? Who made the first move to engage? Did I have to step out and get out of my comfort zone of kicking back and enjoying the ride?
Well, to all those who are saying right about now, “well Richard, that’s your calling, and that’s cool”. With that, I reply, that we are all called to share in how the Holy Spirit desires us to. Wherever we go, in most cases there is going to be people around us. We might be at the Post Office waiting in a line of people. Or at the grocery store. At the gas station waiting in line. At work.
God’s will is that “none perish” and if we have God inside us, then this will is in us, right? Unless of course, we are preventing his will from going out of us. That would be like shutting him up all day in a box, wouldn’t it?
Most often, all it takes to set the Holy Spirit into motion is a simple “Hey, how are you?” or “I like your shoes!” “You have the most beautiful hair!” “So, what’s been going on with you?” ETC. ETC. ETC.
So, will you be willing to step out and “activate” the Spirit in a public place? He’s waiting.