Become a 'God Magnet'
- Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Harvey Katz's new book, Becoming a God Magnet: Life Lessons in Sharing Your Faith, (Believe Books, 2006).
Evangelism shouldn’t be a chore or something you dread. It can be something that just happens naturally as you live out your faith.
That’s because your life sends a message to everyone around you. Like a powerful magnet, your life’s message either attracts people to God or repels them from Him. If others can see God at work in your life, they’ll be drawn to Him through you.
Here’s how you can become a God magnet:
* Focus on your job and leave the rest to God. Understand that it’s God – not you – who does the work of saving people. Recognize that your job is simply to be faithful to minister to people as God leads you to do so. Leave the results up to God. Never try to push, manipulate, or force someone else into coming to faith in Jesus. Realize that people sometimes need plenty of time and space to think through a decision that will determine their eternal destinies. Rather than pressuring people into making decisions when they’re not ready, encourage them to work through all the issues they need to deal with, so their faith will be genuine. Relax and trust that God Himself is at work in the lives of everyone you’re trying to reach for Him.
* Speak to people’s hearts. Try to understand who people truly are and what needs and desires are in their hearts. Identify the ways they’re trying to find fulfillment apart from God – such as through food, alcohol, sex, gambling, excessive work, or other addictive behaviors – and keep that information in mind when helping them discover God. Whenever you encounter someone is suffering in ways you have suffered yourself, identify and empathize with them, and use what you’ve learned in your own life to minister to them with compassion.
* Build real relationships with those you want to reach. Recognize that, to be effective, you need to build meaningful relationships with the people you want to reach with the Gospel. Be willing to invest the time and energy needed to build those relationships. Instead of looking at people as projects to work on, view them simply as people to love. Ask God to help you love people unconditionally, as He does. Make sure your love has no strings attached. Let people know that you’ll still care about them even if they don’t agree with you or fit into your agenda. Accept them for who they are, in spite of their faults and needs. Listen carefully and respectfully to them. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom to understand them well.
* Pray for people. Humble yourself before God in your regular prayer times, asking Him to show you specific ways He wants you to intercede for people you’re trying to reach. Trust God to reveal when and how to talk with each person about Jesus. Consider writing down what you sense God telling you in your prayer times. Share some prayer requests with some other people you can trust to help you intercede for the people for whom you’re praying. Choose some Bible verses that pertain to certain people or situations, and apply those verses personally to your prayers for them by reading them back to God while you pray about those people or situations.
* Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you. Realize that God is the only One who can see inside people’s hearts to know what they truly need, so you should ask His Spirit to pray through you as you pray for other people. Be sensitive to how the Spirit leads you as you talk with people about the Gospel: If you have a sense of God’s peace, then proceed. But if you sense God’s restraint, stop and wait for His better timing or His change of direction. Remember that only the Holy Spirit can reveal Jesus to others, and if the Spirit isn’t leading you, your evangelism efforts won’t be effective. Trust the Spirit to guide you so you will be effective.
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