Have you ever been discouraged by a lack of response when you share the gospel within your sphere of influence? If you have, you are in good company. Approximately twelve years ago, when we began our inner-city outreach, I learned very quickly that expectation and perception don’t always reflect the response or reality we see in Scripture.
Our initial enthusiastic team fleetingly reduced by half. The primary reason? Many volunteers had unrealistic expectations of their outreach audience’s response to the gospel. Contemplating our unexpected dilemma, I sensed a recurring prompting to reconsider Jesus’ words — comparing an agricultural field with a spiritual field. Jesus assures a plentiful harvest and implores us to faithfully and obediently cultivate and nurture the fields, because they are ripe for harvest. He never promises to reveal to us the extent of our influence or the precise time of his harvest’s bounty. He only implores us to show up, work the field, and leave the results to the Lord of the harvest.
Although we assume we are entitled — we may never know the extent of our enduring influence. God’s motive may be to reinforce our resolve, keep our hearts humble, or to reiterate through experience that apart from God, we can do nothing — he alone reconciles the human heart.
Don’t be discouraged by a perceived lack of response when you share the gospel. Don’t try to harvest fruit prematurely. Faithfully and obediently persevere — stay the course. Pray the Lord will continue to choose you and use you to nurture and cultivate his field. Pray for a plentiful, fruitful harvest birthed and reaped by the Lord of the harvest.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the privilege of sharing the gospel within my sphere of influence. Help me to persevere with patience as you arrange divine appointments with those you have called me to reach. Empower me with words and wisdom for God-ordained conversation.
Throughout this Day: Ask the Lord to humble you when you expect to see others change around you. Pray for them and show them love, trusting that God will take care of their hearts.
Photo Credit: Aleksandr Khomenko on Unsplash