You've heard of divine appointments before, right? Would you know if you were on your way to one? I had a feeling that something was up last night, on the way to the training I was attending, but I thought it was for an entirely different reason and I almost missed it. When God invites us to take part in the soul work He is doing in someone, He doesn't always wait for our RSVP.
A conversation sprung up with a newer friend (we are moving from the acquaintence stage to friend stage) last night, after learning how to lead someone to Christ. She said that she isn't qualified to lead anyone to Christ because of the things she has done in her life. She can't stop thinking about decisions she's made and how they have affected others. When I asked her if she had confessed her sin and asked God to forgive her, as we are told to do in 1 John 1:9, she said she had. I then asked her what more God to do to prove that He had forgiven her besides give His only Son to cover her sin and give her a way to come home to Him, because at this point she's telling Him that His gift wasn't enough. We both teared up and knew that those weren't my words, but that the God of the universe heard her cry, and answered. She saw that her refusal to stop thinking about her own sins, which had been forgiven, was a slap in the face of God.
The conversation moved on to dealing with sins committed against you. How do you move on? We talked about the sovereignty of God, being willing to walk a path that we wouldn't have chosen for ourselves, for His glory alone. I could see burdens being lifted from her shoulders as we hung out at the foot of the cross together, which is exactly why Jesus wants us to come to Him.
I don't tell you all of this so that you'll think I'm pretty smart. The whole time we were talking, I was waiting for another conversation to take place with someone else, thinking that was the divine appointment. I almost missed it. Probably only the talking donkey in the Old Testament was more surprised than I was when I said those words. I write these things because I know that I'm not the only one who struggles. We need to go through our godly repentence, feeling genuinely sorrowful for the hurts we have caused, and then stop living in that place. It doesn't mean we become insensitive, but that we live in the freedom that Jesus offers through forgiveness and repentence. Anything less is asking God for a gift receipt, choosing to wear the filthy garment we deserve instead of the righteousness of Jesus that He gave us.
When we insist on holding on to the sins others commit against us, we may feel more justified but we are just as wrong. We are telling God that His perfect plan isn't that great and that He could have done better by us. From the smallest detail, like a nasty comment from someone that replays in your mind, to something so horrific I won't try to make up an example, all are part of the path God has set before us. Adversity is the greatest platform we will have to share the gospel, a living breathing hope named Jesus Christ. Will you allow God to use your adversity to draw others to Him? Is He worth it? Or would you like a gift receipt instead of the blood of His Son?