Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A season to plant

This message of grace is the most exciting life that I’ve ever encountered. For years, I struggled as a believer and then a number of years ago, God started to turn my spiritual life upside down. The beginning stages were the most difficult of my life and I honestly thought I’d never make it. However, even in the difficult times, God was there making himself real. As the initial feelings of disorientation disappeared, I experienced an excitement and joy that I wanted to share.

I think all of us who are growing and getting established in grace have experienced a desire to see people set free. However, in our excitement, we can easily try to push them beyond where they are ready to go. It’s like trying to feed a newborn baby a steak and a baked potato. Its little digestive system is not ready for adult food and it’ll choke. If we continue to try to feed it this type of food, it’ll choke the life out of the child.

Ecclesiastes talks about there being a season for everything. There’s a season for planting and a season for harvest. Right now, it’s snowing outside. BTW, the last time we remember having this much snow was 6 years ago. The snow is beautiful but this isn’t a time for me to go out into the yard and try to plant watermelon seeds. If I expect a harvest, I have to wait for the right season and so it is with sharing this message of grace and freedom.

I believe we need to have ears to hear and eyes to see where each person is on their journey. Perhaps they can only handle a tiny morsel at this time. Maybe, they can’t handle anything. If that’s the case, sometimes it’s best to say nothing and to allow God to get them ready. He knows when it’s harvest time and he’ll send them the message at the right time by the right messenger. If, we’re not willing to wait, I believe we can cause a lot of hurt and make it more difficult for others to receive the message at the right season.

As I was thinking about this, I remembered that Darin Hufford has a blog that describes what happens when people are pushed into accepting Jesus before they are ready. I believe Darin has great insight as he explains the dangers of giving spiritual birth prematurely. I think you’ll enjoy reading what he has to say.


15 comments:

Leonard said...

Adia, Thank you for sharing your wisdom here, BTW, I do not believe Mr. Hufford has anything on you, I think you pretty much covered it here, so I probably wont bother, but thanks for the tip.

You are the Lions.

Best
Leonard

Leonard said...

ps. Oh yeah, I do sorta, kinda, like his haircut.

Aida said...

Thanks, Leonard. Darin's post is somewhat different as he describes unbelievers who are pushed into the kingdom before their time and the problems that causes for them. My post was more in the line of trying to force the grace message on believers. Because of the different focus, his post is different from mine.

I love Darin's haircut especially on days like today. Because of the high humidity, my curly hair is sticking out in some odd directions. Somehow, his style makes so much more sense.

Bino M. said...

Aida,

Thank you for this post and thank you for linking Darin's article. It resonated well with me and it even took some pressure off from shoulders. I have had this 'burden' in my heart that I am 'responsible' for the souls of my loved ones and I have to find ways to 'get them saved'. Honestly, I have used fear to manipulate them.

Darrin makes an excellent point that while pushing people into accepting Jesus, we are in fact doing much harm.

The long term affects of a baby being born under fear are extremely devastating. Without a constant dose of fear to keep that child alive, the Christian will eventually lose all motivation and passion.

Wow! What a profound observation!

That's absolutely true. I have always wondered why so many Christians are so eager about 'being under the law' instead of being under grace and freedom. Because they NEED fear to survive.

Aida, You won't believe how much this post helped me...

Thank you!

Aida said...

Hi Bino,

Darin's blog is wonderful and very freeing and I am so glad this post helped you.

I heard it said and I believe it was on one of Darin's podcasts that a woman was talking to God and he asked her, "Do you really think I would put the salvation of another person into your hands?” That makes so much sense. Why would he trust fickle human beings with this important job?

I’m sure you’ve heard that people who live in restricted countries are coming to know Jesus through dreams and visions. That proves that God doesn’t need our help. He just allows us the privilege to be involved. It’s kind of like when our small children see us doing something and they immediately say, “I want to help.” Even though they’ll probably mess things up and cause us additional work, we allow them to “help” in order to spend quality time together. I believe that’s why God allows us to “help” in the work of salvation. It’s because of relationship and not because he needs our help.

lionwoman said...

Aida, I appreciate this blog and also your comparison about small children 'helping.' This is an excellent point. How did the church get the idea that God CAN'T do it without us? I have had many experiences with this - indeed I let them 'help' because I love them and want to increase their sense of worth and confidence. But often they just make it take longer and leave more mess for me to clean up :0D
Thanks for a great blog!

Aida said...

Amy, it’s true. He doesn’t need our help. Just recently, I met a woman who was born a Muslim in Iraq and became a follower of Christ in the USA. Her family still lives in Iraq and her parents and a large number of cousins ( either 11 or 15 . . . I can’t remember how many she said) are now believers. Her cousins all came to Christ after having dreams about him. Darin told me once that I would have gotten this message when I did even if I hadn’t read his book because it was when I was supposed to get it.

When the season of harvest has come, it’s a privilege to be allowed to help but God can really do it by himself. Allowing us to join in the work of salvation or of delivering this grace message is for the purpose of intimacy.

Thanks for reminding me of what I said and for your comment.

Free Spirit said...

Great word, in season Aida!!
Thanks. :)

ViolableWings said...

hi Aida,
Great post! I was wondering though, what is the name of that post by Darin Hufford? I followed the link and it only brought me to the free believers page. I could not decern which post was the one that you were talking about. :-) by the way did i say great post? lol
Ron

lydia joy said...

That was a timely word!!!

Aida said...

Thanks, Ron.

The post is named "Christian Preemies" and it's one of his older ones. If you click on the word "blog" that is highlighted, that's the link that will take you directly to it.

Aida said...

Thanks, Lydia. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Aida said...

Thanks, Free Spirit. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Jim Robbins said...

Great wisdom here, Aida. I try to use hunger and thirst as a compass: "Father, lead me to those who are hungry and thirsty." John Eldredge likes to say that ours is a "Gospel of thirst," with desire at its core. You can't receive something you have no desire for. Desire and thirst are the very means by which Jesus approached people -- including unbelievers: note how many times he asks, "What do you want?"

So that I can remain humble on this journey, rather than prematurely reeling institutional Christians into freedom, I try to ask God to put the hungry and thirsty (those in touch at some level with their truest desires) in front of me.
Thanks Aida!

Aida said...

Great point, Jim, and a good thing to keep in mind. People who are hungry or thirsty physically will let us know by their behavior and what they say. It's the same thing with those whose hearts are ready. If we're watching and listening, they'll give us hints that they're ready for more.

Thanks for sharing.