“seek the Lord while He may be found…”
One reason why we are admonished to explain our faith is because a divine clock is quietly ticking. Said plainly, every one of us has a date with eternity! The Bible reminds us that, “…there is a time appointed for all men to die…” (Hebrews 9:27a)
Only the Lord Himself knows the number of minutes, hours, or days that we each have left to live. Because of life’s brevity, we have been instructed to “redeem the time…” (Ephesians 5:16) Experience teaches us that life is not always our friend. Our challenge is learning to use our allotted time wisely!
When we were still spiritually lost and ignoring the Holy Spirit’s conviction, we were risking our own eternity, but through silence we can now risk the eternity of others. Time truly matters because the Bible says, “Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1)
World-wide, billions of people are still living under the crushing weight of – unforgiven sin! However, among that large number there are many who would gladly accept their Savior today – if they only knew how.
Many don’t yet understand who the Lord, Jesus Christ actually is, therefore they cannot appreciate what He did for them. Even though they are deeply loved by God (see John 12:32), until they personally know Him, they will never be spiritually fulfilled. Sadly, in every nation a multitude of seekers are still waiting on someone to explain the way of salvation. Millions genuinely want to know the Savior, but they need a clear explanation of why they need Him and how to meet Him. This is where we come in. The Bible says, “…today is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) That means, on God’s part, He is always ready to forgive and receive those who are sincerely seeking Him.
It is easy to allow times of opportunity to “slip” through our fingers. Life’s uncertainties become the reason why making ourselves available for timely ministry is so important. Every morning, God wants us to draw near, quietly listen, and then spontaneously obey. Clearly, He knows both when and how to best use what He wants us to say. Bible therefore explains,
“Just say whatever is given to you at the time…”
Our enemy is predictably eager to promote an unreliable list of excuses. Beware of procrastination. It is designed to produce sins of omission which constitute disobedience. In reality, our passive forms of excuse are nothing more than masked temptations! This is why, when the Holy Spirit prompts us to speak or act in faith, our job is to respond – as quickly as possible. Remember that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7).
While you are enjoying the Lord’s fellowship (see 1 Corinthians 1:9), start specifically asking for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leadership. He will always answer that request with His affirming – “yes”. Remember that at the very same time when you are earnestly asking for the privilege of witnessing, His dependable convicting power will already be at work. Referring to this important aspect of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, Jesus declared, “When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:8).
The sole responsibility for spiritual teaching and conviction belongs to the Holy Spirit. He can recognize spiritually productive soil, so He guides praying witnesses to plant their seed in just the right places. Because the Lord has already promised to provide conviction, we can be confident concerning the means and timing of His work. The Bible explains this spiritual principle saying, “…The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
You will sometimes feel a strong sense of urgency when you are being instructed to speak to a “stiff necked” person. The Bible explains why, “Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1) This is because if someone chooses to ignore God’s love and they remain stubbornly unrepentant, the eternal price will be – far too high!
It is only a matter of time until everyone’s brief lifetime is suddenly over. Then, their opportunity to repent will be forever – wasted! This is why the Lord is continually looking for obedient witnesses who will faithfully minister to those who have been “hard hearted” but are becoming wiser. The searching question for us is spiritual – will we choose to be among the number whom God can use? Isaiah’s attitude needs to become our attitude if we are to serve in the future. He said, “Lord, I’ll go! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)
By Billie Hanks Jr.