But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8 ESV
I gave my life to Christ July 19, 1972. I was just 9 years old. So, you can do the math and figure out my age.
However, through the years I heard over and over that witnessing was an important part of being a Christian. I wasn’t a bold witness. I was quite shy really. And many times I felt guilty and chastised myself because I wasn’t leading people to Christ. I also felt as if I didn’t get someone to say the “Sinner’s Prayer” I had failed as a witness.
As I have gotten older, I have adapted a “new” motto, “What have I got to lose?” As Christians, we often worry about what others will think. What do we say? What if a question is asked that can’t be answered? We don’t want to offend others as well. But we are called to witness.
As I sat in yet another break-out session at a women’s conference, I learned a “new technique.” The presenter told us how when she is at a restaurant she simply asks the server how she can pray for them. She went on to say planting seeds is important. We were reminded that when we plant seeds God sends another to water, and so on (see 1 Corinthians 3:6-9). I found that quite liberating and encouraging.
But I wasn’t let off the hook completely. Take a look at a familiar parable in Mark 4:3-8;14-20. A sower “went out” to sow. He had intention. He had a purpose for his day. He wasn’t complacent. He took action. He also knew that not all seeds would produce healthy plants. I wonder if that bothered him. Was he disappointed that some seeds wouldn’t survive? But he also knew that it took good soil, sun, and water. He couldn’t make the soil, the sun to shine or the rain to fall. Only God could do that.
My husband and I were out to dinner one evening. So, I tried to “practice” what I learned. I have to admit I was a little nervous. But the server responded positively and during the blessing we lifted her name and need to the Father.
When I have done this since the first time, I have gotten different responses. Some spill their hearts, some say they’re fine. We still pray for them and ask God to bless them. Sometimes I don’t ask and feel the Holy Spirit convicting me of my disobedience.
We went out to dinner for Valentine’s Day a few years ago. The parking lot was full at one restaurant so we opted to go across the street. We were seated and a petite, but very pregnant young lady greeted us as her server. Our meal was brought and I was prompted to ask. Her eyes welled up with tears and she asked us to pray for her unborn child. As she walked away my eyes teared up as I said, “I almost didn’t ask.”
We come into contact every day with hurting people who simply need a kind word and an “I will pray for you.” And we need to follow through with our promise. I may not know until Heaven if the seeds I have planted went on to be harvested. But I do know I need to keep planting. And we need to realize it’s not in our power to “save” someone. The Holy Spirit draws them. That’s the main reason we should be willing and ready to sow seeds and pray for them to fall on good soil.
So what if they laugh at me. So what if they think I’m a religious nut. So what?! I have nothing to lose.
Father, may I plant many seeds today. I pray they are rooted in good, fertile soil. Amen