August 2018 Newsletter - "The Harvesters - Common Ground" by Brian Lollock
In Evangelism, the Father is showing and walking us through exactly what His will is in this season, for His harvest. And you being an Evangelist, a Gospel Angel, the Lord is making this understanding available to you as well. For these past few months, the Lord has been showing us how to come to common ground with everyone we speak to. Every Saturday afternoon, the team goes out and speaks with a diverse people: from atheists, to the “I go to church already” believer, to Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, to spiritualists who “believe in a higher power,” and also those who are truly hungry for the truth. The question is, how do we properly speak to others who come from different backgrounds and belief systems? What do we say? What do we not say?
Simply put, we need to meet people where they are in the current season of their life. We need to be able to see the condition they are in and come to that place with them, in order to begin to lift them up in the direction God wants them to go. The prophet Isaiah gives us this prophetic picture of “bringing the valleys up and the mountains low,” (Isaiah 40:4). The lost souls are in the valley, and we have to bring our mountains low (to speak to them in the way they can understand) in order to bring them up. By doing this, we make the path straight for the lost and make “the kingdom of Heaven at hand” for that person.
Pastor Michael once said, “Whatever a person needs, be that.” For us to understand what someone needs, we first need to get to know that person. Just as the Father wants a relationship with us, we need to have the same character and function and desire to build relationship with those we speak to. Most people we speak with, if not all, are at a carnal understanding with the Word of God. Just as “the Word became flesh,” (John 1:14) we need to become that Word in the flesh for others. Interestingly enough, the word “flesh” is the same meaning for the word “carnal.” God came to our carnal level in order that we could have a chance to obtain resurrection life and salvation with Him.
So, what does this look like?
Recently, we were talking to a young man, Sean, in the Victorville Mall. Sean was very touched that someone wanted to take the time to speak and have a conversation with him. He explained to myself and another forerunner of his addiction to cigarettes and heroin. Toward the end of the hour-long conversation, he opened up further by sharing about the unfortunate events from his childhood, being in and out of foster homes, and how he tries to numb the pain through drugs and other vices. Sean thought he couldn’t even come to God or pray to him because he was unworthy in his current condition in life. We were able to share some testimony about own lives with the same vices. The shift in the conversation took place when Sean realized that it is his heart and mind that God wants to change first. It was like a lightbulb went off for him. Yahweh revealed to him that true change and freedom comes from the inside, out. It’s not, “If I clean myself up, God will love me and now I can serve him.” But instead it is, “God loves me; therefore, I want to allow Him to begin washing me by the water of His Word.” Sean’s literal response was, “Wow, that actually makes sense.” Sean understood for the first time that true change started with him first, before the other things in his life could be restored.
As Evangelists, we are able to explain this process with the Father with others, because we have been led down this path before in our lives that has now begun restoring us. In one of our team meetings, our leader and brother, Ray McDowell, shared with us, “Some people only knew Jesus as a carpenter, some only knew Him as a prophet, and some knew Him as the Messiah.” Ray connected that when we speak to people, “A person may just need a hug, others may need a word, and some may need the Rabbi Jesus, the deep things of God.”
How is the Father calling you to common ground with others? This is how we bring the valleys up and the mountains low. Yahweh is restoring us to restore His harvest. Let’s make the path straight. Hallelujah!
Shalom, Brian Lollock