Summary: This is the second in a series of messages for the "Just walk across the Room" emphasis. These messages are adapted from the book by Bill Hybels.
JWAR #2 - The FAITHFUL STEPS
> Last weekend was a very special time for Deb and I, we had our entire bunch together. Jonathon came home from working 3 months for student life plus Christy and Piper came to kind of “celebrate” that Christy finished her college course work and has now taken the “Praxis Test” for teachers. One semester of student teaching and she’ll be a graduate. Jonathon needed to leave Sunday evening to go check on some things, so he and I only had Sunday afternoon for our occasional GOLF GRUDGE MATCH. Now understand, we never bet money on the match, but the “bragging rights” are far more important than money! Well, he did it again & won the bragging rights, enough about that. But something truly interesting happened on the golf course.
> We had played about 12 or our 18 holes when we caught up to a young afro-American man playing alone and so we decided for the three of us to play together. Now remember, I’m studying, preaching, and even learning, along with you this concept of “walking across the room”. So I’m thinking how is the best way to start a conversation with “Thaddeus”? Honestly, when he introduced himself I made a comment about his Biblical name thinking that would be a great segue to a more open discussion. However, I honestly did not feel the freedom to begin this discussion and soon the reason was evident. Jonathon had begun the discussion. In fact, it seemed that every time I walked up on them, Jonathon was telling Thaddeus some else about HIS personal call, life story, struggles, and future. It was more fun to listen than to talk. Now, I would like to tell you that Thaddeus either committed or re-committed his life to Christ, but that didn’t happen. What did happen is this; when we parted, Thaddeus said to Jonathon, “thanks for telling me this stuff, at 21 you seems to have your head on straighter than I do at 28. You’ve given me a lot to think about.” Jonathon’s reply, “stay with it.”
> Dear folks, I am confident that Jonathon played the divine role he was given to play in the life of Thaddeus and only eternity will tell the results. If God is sovereign (and He is) He has already arranged and orchestrated the next person to bring Thaddeus the next leg of the journey to faith.
> Please listen there are times when we walk into a situation where we share our faith, tell the story, and people respond immediately. As a general rule when this happens, someone has planted a seed of truth before you speak and/or the Holy Spirit has been dealing with this individual for a while. Most times, we do our part.
> Friends, please know that we are in this together. I’m learning right alongside you! The reason I have felt led, drawn to, or prompted to give four weeks to an emphasis called “Walk Across the Room” is because people still need the Lord and the Lord needs people who will walk across the room. We’re highlighting and learning this so that we can all become walk-across-the-room people. That’s the reason! Because walk-across-the-room people are typically the ones who get to be used in pointing people far from God to faith. The “Walk across the room people” are people who fulfill God’s purpose, God’s mission, and God’s expectation for them. These are the ones who understand for what it is that God’s heart beats. That is, PEOPLE, lost people. He calls the true believers to help lost people get found! And for those of you who really and truly desire to become more like Christ in your lives, I have some good news for you: you become most like him when you help him help lost people get found.
> If you recall, last week we discussed the first steps. The first steps for the Savior, the Saints, and the Sinner. When talking about yours and my first steps, I gave a call for you to respond in 3 ways:
1. Be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Through the urgings of the Holy Spirit, God desires to use each of us to “Walk across the Room” & be bearers of good news, of salvation, and of Hope.
2. Leave your “Circle of Comfort”. Each of us has those with whom we feel very comfortable. Satan uses our “fellowship” to tempt us to get into our little groups and forget about the other people and their need for fellowship, friendship, and faith. It is only when we leave this circle of comfort that we begin to be & do what Jesus has designed us to do.
3. Be willing to enter the “Zone of the Unknown”. When we voluntarily extricate ourselves from our Circles of Comfort and become open to engaging with someone who might need a touch from God we are on a trek, a journey, or a course which will lead us to become like Jesus and give an open door for others to come to faith. This is indeed what Jesus was all about. I remind you that He left His home, His Throne, and His Dominion, to come to earth for you and me. He came to this place which He had created, submitted to the human frailties which He designed, and laid aside His “circle of comfort” in Heaven for us.