A few days ago I was making a typical Walmart run. In the ten-ish minute drive from my house to the store I used some of the time to pray through a few things on my heart. Passing by campus I found myself asking God to use me to help show people the ways and truths of Jesus. While praying this way I was reminded of the way Isaiah (from the Bible) prayed.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” – Isaiah 6:8
So my prayers started following the same kind of thinking. I was asking God to use my life in whatever ways he wanted to so that people would actually know Jesus and live out his ways and truths for their life.
Sharing good information with someone is awesome and exciting, even more awesome and exciting is when we share good actions towards someone. Telling someone about the gospel (good news) of Jesus is really important, equally so is actually living these ways and truths of Jesus (which is also good news) each day of our lives.
Continuing my drive I needed to make a quick stop to fill up at Sheetz. As soon as I got out of the car a guy holding a guitar case walked over to me and asked for two bucks so he could catch the bus. My “default mode” answer came too quickly (maybe because it was bitter cold and windy that day). I told him that I didn’t have any cash, and he nodded and walked away. Instantly I sensed the Holy Spirit getting my attention. Here was an opportunity to live out the ways of Jesus! You know…remember that whole loving others and caring for the poor bit (just for starters)? Uh, yeah! So I went to my car and after some digging found two dollars, but the guy was already gone. Jumping back in the car I prayed that God would help me find him again. Not too far I saw him walking by the Family Video store and was able to pull right up and give him the cash that I told him I didn’t have.
God has been using this in my life the last several days. He has been reminding me about it not because I should feel good about giving a random dude two dollars, but because I need to think about doing life differently than I always have. Sometimes the words we speak and phrases we use are so cliche it’s embarrassing. Even more often though it’s our actions that are most cliche! This “default mode” is the cliche way of doing life that is natural to us and all other humans. It prioritizes self concern, safety, and personal satisfaction above all else. No one teaches it to us, it’s how we come right out of the box. It’s a sort of human firmware. To make matters worse, we are helplessly stuck in this default mode too. The only way to operate differently is to have Jesus completely remake us! To have God remake us, as humans, based on the Jesus model.
Living unaware in the human “default mode” will stunt our growth into mature followers of Jesus Christ, and subdue what should be a vibrant and exciting life following him! Additionally, If we keep responding to scenarios and situations in “default mode” without being led by the Holy Spirit, we will miss innumerable opportunities for Jesus to use us for his Kingdom. We have got to wake up to the reality that each day holds incredible opportunity to share Christ in everything that we do.
God help me, help us, to break out of “default mode”. Help us to see what you are doing. Help us to approach each situation and scenario as unique, and as an opportunity to share your ways and truths. Jesus help us to grow up into the men and women that you want us to be!