It’s Like Poking Possums

February 15, 2011

Tuesday Re-mix –

…the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:26-27

…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

We have lots of “critters” come through our backyard.  Over the last 20 years or so, we’ve had raccoons, possums, coral snakes, skunks, and birds galore.  We even had a Road Runner hatched under our deck once (different story…maybe a future post).  In her younger days, Lacee (our Cocker Spaniel…no longer with us) would sometimes bring us “trophies” which she had caught.  And her favorite was always possums.

The thing about possums is that, when your dog brings you one and it looks lifeless enough, you can’t be too quick to judge.  There is a reason they call it “playing possum”.  You have to poke it a few times to see if it’s really dead.  Sometimes even that doesn’t work.  Then you have to leave it alone out on the patio for a few minutes and wait and see if it gets up and scurries off.  But if it’s still there the next morning, you can go ahead and dispose of it.  It’s dead.  Score one for Lacee.

In my church’s youth gatherings on Wednesday nights, they have been watching an Andy Stanley video series on what it means to be “fishers of men”.  At that same time, I’ve been spending time in one of my favorite passages: Colossians 1.  I have written about it in previous posts (e.g., here).  This is Paul’s very cool statement about “the great mystery of the ages” which is CHRIST IN YOU.

As it turns out, this concept of Christ’s Spirit indwelling you (and working in others as well) is pretty central to the whole concept of becoming “fishers of men”.  It is at the heart of evangelism.  And for me, it takes almost all of the fear and anxiety out of the process of sharing my faith.

Here’s why.

The idea of “Christ in you” makes one thing very clear to me: I can’t save anyone…only Christ can.  When all the talking is done, if the Spirit of God is not working in the heart of this person, they will not be “saved”.  By the same token, no matter how poorly I share my faith, if the Spirit of God is working in this person, they will be saved.  In the final analysis, it really is NOT up to me.  Rather, it is the Spirit of God in me resonating with the Spirit of God working in this person.  Having experienced that “resonance” a few times, I can testify that it is awesome and unmistakable.

But there is even more reason to be relieved.  Even the part that is up to me (the talking about my faith) is not really up to me…because the Spirit of God works in me and through me to accomplish His purpose.  Bottom line: all I have to do is poke around and see if there is anything Spiritual happening.  Sharing your faith is very much like poking an animal to see if it is alive.  If so, then let the conversation begin.  God will take it from there.  And if not, then you are left with one responsibility: to be a friend.  For now, you are free of the pressures of “sharing Christ” with someone who doesn’t want to hear about it and in whom nothing Spiritual is happening.  Just keep praying and being a friend..and watch and wait and be ready, just in case there is movement.  You just never know when that might happen.

So, why are you still here?  There are possums to poke!  Happy poking today!

© Blake Coffee
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One thought on “It’s Like Poking Possums

  1. mrs pastor

    Amen! How did evangelism become so stressful, as though it depended upon our brilliant performance? Always good to be reminded that God does the work in us and in others.

    mp

    Reply

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