A couple of years ago while I was walking through downtown Eugene, I heard a man on a street corner shouting scriptures. Taken back, I turned to see an elderly man with a long beard was shouting to an empty pavilion, and of course in old King James.
Oh, great! I thought.
Here comes another person to destroy the gospel by showing Christians are out dated, annoying, and offensive. “Why do you let people deface your name?” I directed my question to God
No answer. All I could hear was the preacher carry on about how homosexuality is a sin. As he carried on into his abomination verse, I heard a response from God in the form of a question speaking to my spirit.
“Would you do that?”
What?! I wondered if I heard correctly. I know people are turned off by this style of evangelism so I was confused and slightly angered by the question. I wanted to say ‘Absolutely not!’, but before I could, God spoke again.
“If I asked you to do that, would you do that for me?”
This time his question was clear. Would I be willing to do what this man was doing? Fear gripped me as I pictured myself rattling scriptures and being laughed at. What would happen if God called me to do that?
Would I be willing to make a fool of myself for Him?
My paradigm crumbled.
“Okay God, you have my attention,” I cried in fear, “What do you want from me?” As I was begging God not to join this crazy man, I noticed a young man sitting down intently listening. Feeling the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I went over and introduced myself and asked him if he understood what this guy was preaching about. He let me know he heard about God recently and was desperate to learn more.
It was divine.
With the preacher in the background, I was able to share the gospel of Jesus in a personal way. Turns out God had a plan!
How many times does this happen to us? We have a judgment about how the gospel should be preached, and how we should look and act while doing it?
Paul, after imprisonment, in the letter to the Philippians says.
“15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:15-16)
That day, I learned to trust God with His gospel and if we are not willing to humble ourselves enough to be one of those crazies sharing it, we might miss him working.