Welcome to the final post in our series, 4 Spiritual Keys to A Thriving Life.
In the Gospels, we read how Jesus traveled and ministered along the way. He often spoke to crowds but when I read the accounts of His ministry I see such a personal connection to individuals. Jesus stopped for The One even when the crowds were demanding His attention.
Who is The One?
Jesus saw The One. Jesus ministered to The One. Yes, He spoke often to the crowds but over and over we see Him being sensitive to The One(s) around him:
He saw Gideon.
He saw the woman with the issue of blood.
The prodigal son and the woman with the lost coin are all examples of how precious The One is.
The one is the person whose need you can meet. Whose day you can bless. Whose tears you can wipe away.
The one is that person in your sphere of influence that needs to see the tangible love of Christ or hear Truth when they ask you a question.
The One is also the stranger you've never met but feel strongly to pray for, compliment or to just give a smile to.
Why The One?
Jesus' heart is for the lost, and all Heaven rejoices when even one is restored.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
~ Luke 15:4-7
We are ambassadors representing our home country. Our home country is not the USA, Canada, England or any other place you find on a map. Our home country is found in Christ Jesus, in Heaven. As ambassadors, our constant duty is to represent. We need to represent well Christ our Lord to those around us.
We stop for The One because it is our right to do so. We have the right and privilege to make someone's day in the Name of Jesus.
A Simple Step
Stopping for the one is simple.
It's stepping out in faith to touch a life for Christ.
It's brightening someone's day with an encouraging word or meeting a momentary need.
It's listening with your natural ears and asking God what He wants you to do with the information you hear.
It's listening with your spiritual ears and asking God what He wants you to do.
It might be praying for someone that's before you. It might be encouraging them if they are down.
A Scary Step – Praying With A Stranger
Sometimes it's not easy and it will stretch you. The first time I stepped out to pray for a stranger was after I started a Bible study on hearing God's voice. The Lord showed me a woman to pray for and (after following her around the grocery store for 20 minutes), I stopped her and told her I felt God wanted me to pray for her.
I asked if there was anything she needed prayer for. As it turned out, she had a very sick daughter that was about to get new medical equipment to hopefully improve her quality of life. The woman was thankful and very appreciative of my prayers.
Recently, in another grocery store, (God and I have this grocery store thing). The Dairy Manager struck up a conversation with me in the spaghetti aisle. It was rather a chance encounter, I hadn't made eye contact or asked for help, I was engrossed in finding gluten-free pasta that didn't cost $5 a box. But while chatted casually about pasta preferences the Lord said, “Here's a man who needs to know I see how much he cares.”
So right there in aisle 12 I spoke a word of encouragement over him and prayed a blessing over his family. He was encouraged and told me more about his job and the challenges he and his wife face with their son who is on the autism spectrum.
Notice in this second example I had no preconceived intention of praying for someone. I heard the Lord in the midst of “meaningless” conversation and stepped out in faith.
Meeting the one takes steps of faith. It means being the light in someone's dark world. It will require swallowing your pride, doing it afraid and not caring if someone rejects the Christ you are offering them. After all, they aren't rejecting you, they are rejecting the Father you represent.
The one is all around us. At work. At church. At the grocery store or the restaurant.
You may be wondering stopping for someone else is a key to your thriving life. I can sum it up in just a few words: life isn't about you anyway. We aren't here just to have our creature comforts met and wait for God to call us home. As I mentioned earlier, we are ambassadors. We have work to do. When we minister to The One, our faith grows. Our courage builds and our confidence in hearing God's voice grows too.
If you've been following this series you'll notice this is the last of our four keys. It's last because it is dependent on at least two of the other three for success. We must know our Father and hear him. This means spending time in The Word and praying often. The stronger your relationship with the Lord, the easier it will be to know when He's asking you to stop out for The One.
As you go through your day, ask God who He would have you minister to. It will change your life and it could very well change the life of The One.
What are you doing today to meet the one?