Do you ever try to “make things better” and forget to let God lead the way? Brad encourages us to do our part but to ultimately leave things with the Lord.
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Make It Better
If you’re a parent of small children, you’ve undoubtedly said this a few times. “Awhh, come here and daddy will make it better”, or “let mommy kiss that and make it all better”. For those everyday toddler bumps and bruises, for the most part, mommy or daddy can “make it better”. And it gives us as parents, a sense of joy that we can help dry the tears, or alleviate the pain or discomfort that our little one is experiencing.
It seems from our very creation, we have been looking at ways to “make it better”. Sometimes a desire to make things better in the short term has less favorable outcomes in the long term. The kissing away of pain on your little ones scratched knee is a great thing, but what if I also accompany it with a little candy. Something else to help dry the tears and bring a smile back to that sad little face. It’s a great fix, and daddy is the hero initially, but over time, those well-intended sugary treats can lead to problems with our teeth, or our overall health, resulting in difficulties and pain in later years. Many times, our desire to protect, to please, to “make it better”, can render an adverse effect.
Stacking The Deck
Several years ago, a young lady I worked with expressed an interest in coming out to our church. She and I had at different times, had discussions on various points regarding faith. She seemed to be searching to find out a bit more about God. I was happy and excited when she mentioned she and her boyfriend would like to stop by our church on and attend the next Sunday morning service.
When I got home from work, I called the brother who I knew would be working on his message, and relayed to him the good news about my co-worker and her boyfriend. I mentioned that they were (from my observations), unsaved, and their experience with church and faith, would be more in line with organized religious service. We agreed that the gospel should be strongly presented, and touch perhaps on some points of doctrine.
I mentioned as well, several areas I felt they could use some clarity on, based on conversations she and I had previously. You could say I was “stacking the deck”, to ensure that every angle was covered, in preparation for needy souls to hear the good news message.
My brother’s preaching style is very endearing. His delivery is warm and sincere, and he possesses a sense of empathy which I think is a great quality. He has a solid command of scripture. He uses stories and illustrations, and a dose of humor which makes for an effective presentation of the truths of Gods word.
Trust In The Spirit
I met our guests at the doors of our church that Sunday morning. It was great to see them follow through, and I and was pleased to introduce them to the other members of our small congregation, including the brother who would be speaking that day. I was looking forward to my brother’s message and hoped that the Lord was about to stir the hearts of those who were perhaps truly seeking.
As the brother opened his Bible from behind the pulpit and greeted all in attendance, I sensed a slight difference in his demeanor; from what I was accustomed to. Within a few minutes, I could tell that his tone was different. The qualities that might normally endear one to his message, were somewhat altered. His face a body language were more stern. His message carried an overall tone of condemnation, and he was clearly preaching to the unsaved in the room; which in reality boiled down to my co-worker and her boyfriend.
I felt a growing sense in my heart, and to this day, that I had in some way “set them up”. Not that I didn’t want them to hear the gospel, not that I didn’t want them to be pricked in the ears, but I couldn’t help but wonder would the message and the tone have not been different had I not weighed in on my brother’s message? Why had I tried perhaps, to “make it better”? Where was my trust in the spirit leading? Had I not done a disservice to our guests, to my brother and his message, and to God himself with my interference in the preparation and presentation of Gods word?
I, you, none, can make better, the inherent word of GOD. Had I simply left all things with the Lord, my brother would have undoubtedly delivered a wonderfully sound message in his usual style, the spirit leading as it may… “on the spot”. Why would there be any need of “influence peddling”, on my part?
When the service was over, conversation flowed and everyone chatted warmly with our visitors, expressing sincere best wishes, and a hope that we might see them return in the near future.
At work the next day, I reiterated how nice with was to have them out. My co-worker said they appreciated how very friendly everyone was. Her other comments, more or less, were that the speaker was very direct, and that overall it was different from what they were accustomed to. We rounded out the conversation with some generalities, and I could tell they would not be returning to our church anytime soon.
Let God Lead
Now it can be said that none can thwart the plan of salvation, or keep a searching soul from finding the Savior. That is so true. But we can sometimes put up detours and roadblocks, even unintentionally. Overzealous attempts to make a “better sermon”, a “better church”, a “better faith”, will most often have the exact opposite effect. It’s good to remember that good is always better, and better is always best, only when we let God do the leading.
All Christians are called to evangelize. We are called to point others to the cross, to the SAVIOR. But pointing and guiding differ greatly, from corralling and coercing.
As I reflect on that occasion, I think the greatest “take away” from the message that Sunday morning was perhaps not to be for our guests, but for me.
The Bible reminds us that some plant, and some water, but it is God who gives the increase. We can all perhaps be guilty at times of trying to “make things better” … by trying to plant and water, that we might almost surely see an increase.
Let’s be reminded that we are to always do our part, but to ultimately leave things with the Lord. It’s his plan, and his timing, and his matchless grace that pours out on souls that are searching. To God be the Glory.
Brad offers up practical, scriptural advice from a perspective borne out of everyday life encounters. As we live and move and have our being…it’s the individual life lessons that most often present the greatest challenges, but can yield the richest blessings. We’ve all, as Christians had those faith-affirming moments, where we’ve had an overwhelming sense of God’s spirit, or his very presence “at a particular but, maybe random time”.
Brad was born and still resides in a small community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Karen raised their 3 children. Brad & Karen fellowship at the Greenland Bible Chapel, where Brad serves as an elder.
Brad loves meeting and engaging with people. His background in sales has provided opportunities to travel throughout the US and Canada, networking with people from all walks of life. Brad is a singer/songwriter and has recorded 3 Christian albums. Songs from his “Brighter Day” release, have aired on Christian Radio stations across Canada and two of Brad’s albums are on HopeStreamRadio’s playlist.
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