Dena J. Dyer
-- "The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving
toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and
lifts up all who are bowed down" (Psalm 135:13-14).
In 1983, I fell madly in love with Jesus after spending several
days in Missouri at a Christian youth camp. My friend Krista was
on fire, too, and we were concerned about Eric, one of the boys
who had come with us. Eric wasn't born again, and he kept avoiding
the nightly worship services. We knew God wanted him to accept
Christ, and we decided we were the ones to help him do it.
So Krista and I roped him into going for a walk and practically
pushed him down on a park bench. Then we went into the "spiel"
we had practiced during that week's witnessing training.
"I've heard this before," he growled as we began, "and I don't
want your Jesus!"
Krista put her hand on his arm. "But we care about you, Eric.
Just listen to what we have to say!"
"No way!" he exclaimed. Then he got up and (literally) ran off.
I sat there, stunned. As a shy teenager, I was crushed. What
did we do wrong? I knew we wanted the best for Eric, and I thought
my heart was right with God. Did we push too hard?
It was years before I would verbally witness again. I decided
I would let my light shine through my actions, and allow people
to ask me questions if they wanted the joy and peace I had. The
only problem was that no one ever asked.
As I was looking up the "Eric" story in my journals, I ran across
the camp's motto: "Successful witnessing is sharing Christ through
the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God."
That resonated with me, since I still don't know what became of
Over several years of being a non-witness, I realized that I
wasn't being obedient to Christ's mandate to share the gospel
with the world. I began to look for opportunities to talk about
Jesus in a natural way with neighbors, friends, and acquaintances.
At times, I saw positive results. Sometimes, I fell on my face.
Always, I felt God's presence and His approval -- like a father
who is proud of his daughter for "just trying."
Recently, I shared Christ with a friend of mine who is involved
in a cult. I prayed for an opportunity to talk to him for several
months. When he approached me about coming to a special event
at their church, I set up a time to talk with him later, at length.
Then I called every Christian friend I knew and asked them to
pray like crazy. I also called a friend who had studied the cult,
in order to review their theology. When our appointment came,
I was uncharacteristically bold -- through the power of the Holy
Spirit -- in explaining the differences in our faith, and telling
why I felt uncomfortable with his request. God brought several
Scriptures and questions to mind that I hadn't planned on bringing
up. Through it all, I felt calm, even joyful.
And now, I'm leaving the results to God.
Lord, thank you for helping me to share Your love and grace
with others, and for picking me up when I fall short in this area.
on Spiritual Life
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Copyright 2002, by Dena J. Dyer. Used by permission.
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