Friday, June 20, 2008

Thoughtful Conversion

Most people don't think. Okay, that may be a bit harsh. We DO ponder things like what we will have for dinner, what movies we might watch, what political candidate we most likely agree with. But we DON'T think about the things that we believe. When you are speaking to a friend about the change that Christ has made in your life you are likely not using Jesus' name very frequently. You hem and haw around the subject. You speak of how things have changed "since you started going to church' or now that you have found "faith". But many people have faith in some crazy stuff! And there are lots of churches to attend. So in a way you are distracting your own argument. What you need to be saying is, "Hey, Bob, the craziest thing happened to me. I went to church and really felt something! It seemed like God was calling out to me. Did you ever have that?" Suddenly, Bob- your unchurched friend- is asked for his opinion and confronted with the possibility that God might actually be speaking to both you and HIM! That is important because Bob never thinks about God. And he certainly never questions why he is so unfulfilled in his present faith relationship that he never attends church. He, in fact, in scared of God and is really afraid of surrendering to his will. (He might end up a missionary in Africa!)

Real conversion begins with the thoughtful processing about what we believe and why. This world view assessment is crucial for repentance. God spent much time trying to get Israel to examine their deeds and lifestyle choices. He even brought judgment for the purpose of turning back the hearts of his children to prayer. The thinking process isn't an easy one. I demands of a person the ability to say I have been wrong up until now. This rarely happens in older people. They are afraid to admit that they have made mistakes walking the wrong way in this life. Sad really. That our faith is trapped behind the formidable doorway of our pride. For the believer, God has permission to crush your pride, in the interest of your soul. But for the unbeliever our evangelistic job is to prod them with questions and thoughts that the Holy Spirit can use to get them to think.

After thinking that there just might be a God who is trying to get my attention I am open for an expereince with that God. If he turns out to be a loving, caring and benificent God then I am more likely to fall in love with him.

Someone asked me the other day if I get defensive regarding the gospel. Well the truth is I know it is TRUE. And since that is my mental stance, I find myself less threatened by the bloviation of the "other side". See, I was on the other side when God reached down to me. So how about you, are you sure you are walking in the truth?

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