Perhaps because this is an entirely new experience for me.
I have been to debates and have wholly defended my point. I have even refuted people’s criticism on my friends and myself with passion, but I have never ever so fully and thoroughly been so anxious about trying to convince someone about Christianity.
There were a lot of complex questions asked, and a lot of even more complicated answers that I wanted to research on in reply to these questions – but these answers sometimes required an understanding of the context, history and character of God. What perturbed me even more was my desire to try and approach the question in a non-Christian way – by trying to exclude the character of God, especially to a non-Christian who had yet to know Him.
But I am now strongly reminded by a time when I was about 13. A friend from church who had told me about how she shared the gospel with her sister. When her mum found out about my friend’s intentions, her mum told her that she was not to convert her sister.
‘Don’t worry Mum, I won’t.’ She told me. ‘And in the end, my sister became a Christian.’
As I looked at her confused, she explained, ‘You see, I don’t convert. God converts.’
And in such a time, I must remember that ultimately, God has the power to melt a heart of stone. God has the ability to probe into someone’s heart.
I just buy the soil – God plants the seed.
I buy the fertiliser – and God uses it to nourish the seed.
To me, there is a blurred boundary: enthusiasm, care, concern versus being pushy, refusing no for an answer.
For such an impulsive and vocal person like me, it’s really quite hard not to try and drive the point home. I really want them to see things the way I do; to experience things that God has so graciously let me feel; and to understand things that God has shown me. How can I not be distressed to know that one of my friends, whom I have been praying for, might have a different future from me?!
Yet, the non-Christian and Christian have different mindsets, different masters and different goals. Enthusiastic preaching may appear aggressive to non-Christians.
So in all these things, I wait and pray. As my parents and Theo reminded me, let God do His work. He is sovereign and powerful. There is a time for everything. Perhaps, that person’s journey with Christ may only start after university! Therefore, I will learn to wait and rest in God. I pray that I will not be anxious and emotionally entangled in this. It is not a battle for me to fight in, for God has already won the battle in my heart. That person’s heart is a private matter between her and God.
These thoughts also got me thinking: Why doesn’t God show Himself to us? That would really make things much easier and that would definitely sift out the unbelieving from the believing.
The answer is in Luke 16: 27-31
“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them. ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
The bible is enough for us. This book is God-breathed and living. If people refuse to look at the hardcopy of God’s character, which is historically accurate, has sold billions and has been through so much academic debate, then why would they look at a supernatural miracle and believe?
If people reject the physical embodiment of God’s Word, then God’s metaphysical actions would be of no value to them. These miracles cannot be explained by science, and thus, people would be unable to see beyond their blindness.