A few Saturday’s ago I felt a prompting. It wasn’t an audible voice, but something inside me said I needed to pray for a particular guy within our church family.
Can you relate to feeling a prompt in your spirit — either to pray for someone, speak up at a certain moment, or just respond in some way to what you believe the Lord is speaking to you?
Sometimes it’s hard to know, right? And many of us, because we are uncertain, decide that “probably wasn’t God…so I’m not going to act on it.” Can you relate to this? I know I can.
So, on this particular Saturday, I felt like it may have been God, so I just began to pray for this man. And it was specific because I happen to know some of his struggles so I was praying specifically for those things.
The next morning I bumped into him at church and said, “Hey I was just praying for you yesterday!” And he was encouraged by that but didn’t really say anything initially. As we talked more, however, he said, “So when was it you were praying for me yesterday?” I replied, “Oh don’t know, yesterday afternoon sometime”. I proceeded to share what I prayed for him.
And he said, “you know what’s amazing, Seth, is I’ve been doing great for many, many, months but I just had yesterday I had some intense moments where I needed God’s peace…thank you so much for praying.”
So…was this a coincidence? Or was this God prompting me to intercede on behalf of my brother in Christ? Clearly, we believe the Lord does speak to us and desires for us to listen and be led of His Holy Spirit.
Whether you recognize it or not, what you believe about the good news of Jesus radically influences whence you live out the gospel in everyday life.
This seems basic enough, right? But does the gospel you embrace have room for the kind of thing I just described? You see, most of us initially learned to follow Jesus in a particular way, didn’t we? Whether it was a denominational tradition, a certain teacher or ministry, we came to Christ in a surrounding context that deeply shaped us.
My dad has always said over the years, “what you win people with you win them to.” So, for example, if you came to Christ through a strong Bible teaching ministry then that is likely an integral part of how you think about following Jesus, right? The Word of God is central to your discipleship. How can you know the Lord without His Truth, right? Others came to faith through radical demonstrations of God’s Spirit — God set you free even in a miraculous way, and you were exposed to speaking in tongues, or other prophetic giftings which were common in the church or ministry that led to your salvation. If this is the case then chances are experiences of power are really important to you, right?
So here’s an initial question to consider for yourself…
What experiences shaped your personal understanding of how a person is meant to follow Jesus throughout life?
I came upon a powerful little illustration (see below) to explain how we can better understand the good news of Jesus Christ and it’s implications for our daily lives. There are three “dimensions,” if you will, of the Gospel clearly seen throughout the Scriptures:
In the next post, I will explain each of these dimensions – the gospel in word, the gospel in deed, and the gospel in power in more detail so that we can gain self-awareness of the area(s) we need to grow. In a nutshell, we all want to get to a place where these three are constantly intersecting — where the Word of God is guiding our lives, where we are walking in the Spirit and actually doing what He commands, and where we are experiencing the Power of God and ministering in that power to others.