Walking the streets of red light districts in pursuit of accomplishing God’s work of bringing broken men to restoration is no easy task. I have been learning that no ministry night is the same and you face new difficulties every time. One feels intimidated by the very real risk of rejection as you faithfully stand on a street corner and consistently put out opportunities for men to join you in conversation. Your mind races for the right words to say in the moment, but saying the perfect thing all the time is impossible. There are times when you think of a better way you could’ve worded a sentence after the conversation is over. You never know what to expect and often find yourself in different unexpected circumstances all the time. As you continue to learn and grow from past situations, it is easy to be subjected to feelings of discouragement in the process.
However, the one thing we must always fall back on is that we are being faithful to God’s calling in our lives. It is important to recognize that whether you stumble over your words, whether you feel you said the wrong thing, or whether a man ignores and rejects you when you reach out, it is not your work but God’s work that changes the heart. It is then that you realize that we are not the ones transforming hearts, but that instead it is God working in these areas. This changes your perspective. You realize that it did not depend on you saying the perfect words that will bring a man to salvation, but it is the work that God does in their life. Romans 2:29 states that “circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by letter”. All we can do is continue to be faithful and surrender our cares over to the Lord.
When you surrender over the feeling of responsibility for these men and leave that task to God, it becomes easier and less intimidating to reach out to these men. Understanding that God is using us to accomplish His purpose is one of the keys to having peace as we live as ambassadors of Christ. When we put our workload onto God’s shoulders instead of thinking that the success of our lives and ministry relies on us, we can relax and trust that Jesus will draw men in and guide the conversation to where He wants it to go. All God asks us to do is be obedient to reach out to men to tell them about the satisfaction of a life with Jesus. 2 John 1:6 tells us that “This is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.”
In life, we face challenges and situations where we feel that everything depends on us and messing things up will result in the demise of God’s purpose for the situation. However, we can learn that God’s work does not rely solely on us. Instead, God asks us to be obedient so that He can guide us into being greater tools of service for His kingdom. Every step of faith we take, God will use to grow our faith and to grow His kingdom. God doesn’t ask for help, He asks for obedience. God doesn’t seek your knowledge; He seeks your faith.
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