By Janie Hill, Pastor's Wife at King's Way Alliance Church
I found myself this past spring defending my God to someone who was spewing offenses about His power, His existence and His goodness. Fearful that God would strike this person down right in front of me for speaking so carelessly of Him, I found myself trying to force feed her a truth sandwich. It broke my heart to hear such fallacy and nothing I said made her pause to consider I could be right. In fact, it made her dig her heels in even more and left me spiritually drained.
I left that day really believing I did God a favor. I clung to the promise that His word would not return void. Over the next few days, I didn’t see any movement toward God’s side. What I did notice was a harder shell starting to form. I met with God daily, trying to will the Spirit’s affirmation that all would be ok and that the words I spoke would eventually sink in. Every chance I had to speak truth to this person, I would take it. I believed if I continued pounding her with the knowledge of His word and the reminder of the Way, she would soon believe, repent and be spared of the lightning bolt that I feared was one slur away from detonating. Again, I found myself spiritually drained.
In times of overwhelming fear, we long to control things. With sincerely good intentions, we try to do the Spirit’s work in our own weak power. And we wonder why we find ourselves spiritually drained. God’s plan is to meet our flesh with His Spirit. Defending God out of my flesh does nothing to illuminate truth. But when we allow God to meet us with His Spirit, our eyes become opened, paving the way for God to be proclaimed, not defended.
I realized the truth sandwich I was trying to force feed, was my own futile attempt to do the work of the Holy Spirit. God showed me that He doesn’t need me to defend Him but to trust Him. He didn’t need me to do Him any favors, but to get out of His way.
A few months later I was granted another opportunity to speak with this person. In love and not fear, I found myself proclaiming God. The choices were still the same and still hers to make but fear did not win that night, the Spirit did. And it was then, that I saw the hardened shell start to soften.