“Are you of the faith?”
I’m not sure what that question is supposed to mean, but in the past, I have always taken it to mean, “Does your religious system of belief mirror mine?”
When put in such stark words, we shutter to think that is our meaning when we ask the Father to grant someone faith.
Yet, in our hearts, are we not more comfortable when we find that a new friend attends our same church or at least our same denomination?
Be assured that this is not what the Father is urging us to pray for.
In fact, as I have struggled with my true motives toward intercession, I wonder if I am purely interested in God’s glory….or more focused on gaining another “like-minded” person to my circle?
Hear the pointed word of the Lord:
“Woe to you…because you travel about on sea and land to make one convert and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)
The Message says: “You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.”
Is this my reasoning for sharing “my faith”? Do I do so in order to make them like me or do I pray for my nation that they might truly be like Christ?
Do I forward damaging emails to prove my staunch opinion or do I spend time in prayer for the situations that sadden me?
A few days ago, I saw a oversized bumper sticker that read, “Life without Jesus. How’s that working for you?” I have to admit that I felt a little sickened to think that he probably would have welcomed me into his religious circle. This type of evangelism wouldn’t have drawn me closer to faith had I been a non-Christian.
Is it any wonder that our country continues to polarize? Harsh evangelistic messages coupled with lambasting words toward government officials seem to only further distance any seeker from truly coming to “the faith.”
Jesus laid out a fairly simple evangelistic plan: Love (John 13:35). This is the pathway to see faith activated with the presented Truth.
I wonder why love seems so hard to practice?
Maybe it’s because we have to first start within our own circle of influence…..
And maybe that’s the reason that intercession for our country has so little effect……