Christianity 201

June 19, 2021

Divine Appointments are Divinely Appointed

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:34 pm
Tags: , , ,

With our area now released from a stay-at-home order, yesterday I ventured to a place that is always a great context for Jesus-centered conversations; unlocking the door for the first time in nine weeks. Within minutes, I found myself deep in conversation with a new Christian. He had a lot of questions, and I tried to answer them humbly, bearing in mind that,

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.James 3:1

So while it was nice to be entrusted with this mission, I also had a sense that in these encounters I can have a posture of learning, perhaps learning as much from the questions and responses, as he hopefully learned from the information I imparted.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17

He promised he would be back, though I seriously erred in not getting contact information. To use an overworked phrase, I’ll have to “leave that with the Lord.”

I’m also sorry we didn’t get to pray together, but there were other people coming and going. In any event, pray for T.

Part of the reason those two things didn’t happen is because L. dropped by. I didn’t remember her at first, but as she recapped her story, she’s been through every religion in the book, and in the words of a U2 song, she “still hasn’t found what [she’s] looking for.”

She said the last time we were together, I shared with her “the story of the geese.” The who of the what? I had no idea. She said the major point was that “geese follow.” I suppose that was what I asking her to do.

I assured her that this was an analogy that God had given me on the spot to share with her and that nobody had ever heard the geese story before or after. I like coming up with my own ‘redemptive analogies‘ or any analogies for that matter. Or maybe it was something I had read that week.

Be very careful, then, how you live‚–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. — Ephesians 5:16

A woman who was also in the building then picked up the conversation with her. I felt that as much as God might have used me in the conversation with T., she was much more God-appointed to continue talking to L. That was her divine appointment, not mine.

I offered a Bible to L. but she just kinda glared at me. Not the eagerness you expect to hear in stories like this. She was probably thinking, ‘Been there. Done that.’ But then the other woman placed into her hand a copy of In His Steps by Charles Sheldon. An odd choice, in human terms, but then I chimed in and told L. that it’s a fictional story of what the world would be like if we actually lived as Jesus instructed us. When you remember to pray for T., pray also for L.

The verse,

Always be ready to offer a defense, humbly and respectfully, when someone asks why you live in hope.— I Peter 1:15b

is used in the context of formal witnessing or evangelism situations, but sometimes God sends divine appointments without even a moment’s notice.

I would shorten the verse to simply, “Always be ready!”


Two follow up things:

First, I inserted a link with the phrase ‘redemptive analogy’ in case you’re not familiar with the term. But for those who know the story and are wondering, several years ago the son of Don Richardson returned to the area, with the result that Mustard Seed International was formed. This is a charity that we support personally, and if God has blessed you financially, I encourage you to check them out.

Second, we don’t always feel ready for divine appointments. In many ways, I’ve been going through something that the kids call spiritual ‘deconstruction,’ for lack of a better word. I’ve been down and depressed for nine weeks now, and within minutes of returning physically to the place of ministry (as opposed to posting devotionals from home) God handed me a special assignment to encourage me. He knows what he’s doing. In addition to praying for the two mentioned today, pray for me as well!

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