On our first day of fasting I am compelled to pray for our pre-believing spouses. And to that end I want to share how Jesus reached unbelievers. It a model for all of us on how to attract people to the Kingdom, especially our spouse.
Turn with me to John 4.
This is the story where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a water well. (Please, please pause now and go read all of the story. If you do I promise that the Lord is going to enlighten you to some possibilities you haven’t considered.)
I want to point out quickly some details of this story.
Vs 4:Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
Vs 7: He asks her for a drink. He is alone and is speaking to a woman. In this culture Jews never spoke to Samaritans and NEVER to women.
Vs 10: She is there to draw water. Her life was filled with endless trips to the well with a heavy jug on her head. (monotony, hopelessness, struggle, weariness) Jesus speaks to her in terms which she can relate…. Water. He tells her about the Living Water.
Vs 15: The Samaritan Woman is intrigued now and asks for this living water.
Vs 17: Jesus perceives into her life and tells her to go call her husband. She replies, “I have no husband.” And then He speaks prophetically revealing truths that only God could know and that the Holy Spirit revealed to Him.
Vs 19: The woman has no doubt that this man before her is no ordinary man. He is a man of God. She declares, “I can see that you are a prophet.”
She then deflects her personal marriage predicament and changes the subject to the Jews and Samaritans disputes about where to worship God. Jesus’ response is powerful in the following verses and then he arrives at an important declaration:
Vs 23: Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
And finally in verse 26 Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you —I am He.” (The Messiah (called Christ)
My friends, as we contemplate our unbeliever, our unsaved family, our friends that don’t know Jesus, and a world that is in pain, suffering and sunk in the bondage of darkness, we can see in this passage the key to their freedom.
This is the model to reach people.
The Kingdom and our part we play often arrives when it’s inconvenient. When we are exhausted. When we are hungry or thirsty and all alone. This was Jesus as He sat by the well.
The people God sends to us are broken and in pain. They have been abused by the world and are confused by religion. This is the Samaritan woman. Five husbands. Five deaths or divorces and her current man refuses to marry her. This woman IS pain. She is confused between the practices of the Jews and the Samaritans.
Jesus reaches out to her through conversation that she can relate to. Water. He relates to her and speaks her language. Jesus gains her attention and her willingness to listen.
As the conversation progresses, the Holy Spirit begins to discern the pain and some of the details of this woman’s life. This is usually how it works. I know this has been true for me. Do you remember me sharing how in the middle of an ordinary visit to a restaurant, God started talking to me about the woman behind the counter? (Read that story here.)
God begins to reveal truth and when spoken to people, they can’t help but respond to His love. This is exactly what happened to the woman when Jesus revealed parts of her life. She then realizes that God loves her… her…. God loves her with all her pain, past, sins, and failures. He loves her enough to send a man to talk with her even when his actions are counter cultural and forbidden by the religious circles.
And then Jesus speaks such powerful truths that she is delivered of her fears and sins. She discovers that the Father is seeking worshipers who worship in the Spirit and in truth.
She discovers what Jesus clearly states, “I, the one speaking to you – I… AM….. HE.”
And you know what happens next. The whole population of the town comes to Jesus.
SUMites, this is our model of how to speak of our Jesus to the world. And our ability to discern from the Holy Spirit, such as in this story, comes out of our personal relationship and our time alone with the Father (prayer & fasting). Just like Jesus.
This story isn’t just for Jesus. This is Jesus showing us. Telling us. Encouraging us to meet people where they are. To ignore the conventions of religion and society and to speak their language. To perceive their pain. To speak life and healing into their lives. To bring one person to meet …. I am He, The Messiah. And then a whole population will follow.
I’m convinced that if we do this, our spouses, children, friends…. Our world will come to The One… Jesus.
Let’s fast and pray that we may step into this story and become the hands and feet of Jesus who brings healing and hope to our world. Let’s pray our spouse is fully saved in 2015.
I love you Jesus so much. Thank you for showing me how to bring your love and hope to this world. Let me be the one who doesn’t fear what people will think or say. Let me not be held back by religion and culture but let me dare to speak to those who are in pain and who need your love. Lord I ask, and keep on asking, for the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that I may know you better. Jesus, in Your powerful Name, I seek You. Amen.